US: Aircraft to help Philippines fight pro-IS terrorists

MANILA -- The top US diplomat said the United States has been providing the Philippines with surveillance capabilities, training, information and aircraft to help it fight a monthslong siege of Marawi City by pro-Islamic State group terrorists.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Manila for a regional gathering. He said the equipment includes a few Cessna aircraft and a few drones.

He said they will help the Philippines battle "an enemy that fights in a way that most people have never had to deal with."

But Tillerson said there is no contradiction between US assistance and concerns about human rights.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been roundly criticized for a bloody way on illegal drugs that has killed thousands of suspects.

Tillerson is expected to meet later Monday, August 7, with Duterte. (AP)

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