US military surprised Philippines by showing up to help besieged city

US military surprised Philippines by showing up to help besieged city
© Getty

The president of the Philippines on Sunday said he did not request help from the U.S. military to resist the Islamic State in the Philippines. The U.S. on Saturday committed "technical assistance" to the fight.

President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday during a news conference that he "never approached America" to help end the siege of a southern Philippines town, Reuters reported.

Duterte said he was "not aware of that until they arrived," when asked about the U.S. support in Marawi City.


Officials on Saturday said the U.S. is supporting the Philippines military to end a three-week siege of Marawi City. The U.S. joined the fight against the Islamic State in the Philippines but has not put military troops on the ground, officials said Saturday.

"They are not fighting. They are just providing technical support," military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera said, according to Reuters.

Duterte has previously threatened to eject U.S. military trainers and advisers from his country, according to Reuters.
Trump invited Duterte to the White House in April, a surprise move that drew criticism considering hostility between Duterte and the previous administration. 
“The Philippines is very important to me strategically and militarily,” Trump told Bloomberg News in May. 
During a “very friendly” conversation the previous month, he and Duterte “discussed the fact that the Philippines is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs,” the White House said.