Philippine Militants Failed to Attack Other Cities After Marawi

ISIS-linked militants are planning but failing to attack another town in the southern Philippines shortly after Philippine soldiers cracked down on their occupation in Marawi last year, the country's largest Muslim rebel group said on Tuesday.

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front said plans to attack the town of Iligan or Cotabato failed after the Marawi occupation ended, but the extremists have continued to recruit new troops to recover from the defeat of their battles.

Murad said his group continued intelligence information on the planned attack on the two cities, which are the bustling commercial centers, to government troops through a ceasefire channel opened during the peace talks. He published the information in a forum with foreign journalists and emphasized how his group helped combat terrorism.

Read also: Battle in Marawi, Philippines Deliver Thousands of People

President Rodrigo Duterte and military officials have also said that the remnants of radical groups that occupied and destroyed Marawi for five months were searching for new troops and plotting new attacks.

Duterte called the threat in his speech Monday night (19/2) in which he criticized Canada for wearing restrictions on the use of helicopter gunships to be bought by the Philippines. He has ordered the military to cancel the purchase. [gp]

Myanmar Failed to Create Safe Conditions for Return of Rohingya Refugees

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said on Monday that Myanmar had failed to create a safe condition for the return of 688,000 Muslims-Rohingyas who fled from military crackdown six months ago.

Refugees taking shelter in emergency camps in Bangladesh despite an agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh that allowed their return to the state of Rakhine.

"Typically, this condition for the voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees is still not conducive," said Grandi, speaking through videoconferences at the council meeting.

"The thing that caused them to evacuate has not been addressed, and we still have not seen any substantive progress in addressing the issue of exceptions and denial of the rights of the deceased Muslims-Rohingyas, rooted in their citizenship , "He added.

See also: Jo kowi Visit Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Myanmar considers Muslim-Rohingyas as immigrants from Bangladesh and refuses to grant citizenship, even though this group has been in Myanmar for generations.

An advisory panel led by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan has called on Myanmar to grant citizenship to Muslim-Rohingyas and allow them back.

The United Nations has accused Myanmar forces of expelling the Rohingyas in an ethnic cleansing campaign.

China, former supporters "The Muslim-Spirit Crisis can not be completed in one night," said Chinese Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu.

He added that, steps should be adopted by Myanmar "to address the root causes of poverty through pemba ngunan "in Rakhine state. [em/jm]

American Missile Defense Test Failed

The missile defense test carried out by the US military on Hawaiian territory on Wednesday (31/1), failed, Pentagon spokesman Dana White said Thursday (1/2).

" The test did not reach the target, but we always learned something from some of these trials and we also learned something from this experiment, "White said.

The Missile Defense Agency or MDA says a Standard IO Block 3 Block IIA or SM-3 was launched from a facility in Hawaii and attempted to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile during the test.

This is the first time a SM-3 missile was launched from land use Aegis Ashore's testing system, MDA said. The agency is investigating the cause of the failure.

Japan plans to purchase a ground-based Aegis Ashore system to improve defense against North Korea, and the missiles used in this test are still under development.

The missile defense system tested on Wednesday can be used in the Western Pacific region. However, this system is not a weapon used to protect the mainland against inter-continental ballistic missiles or ICBMs being developed by North Korea.

"The primary system used to protect against North Korean ICBM attacks on the mainland is ground-based interceptors, and is located in Fort Greely, Alaska, and also in California, "Lieutenant General Kenneth" Frank "McKenzie told reporters on Thursday. "It was not a tested missile."

The Americans once successfully intercepted an intermediate-range missile from USS John Paul Jones off the coast of Hawaii in a test in August 2017.

But about a month before the successful launch, a the SM-3 missile test failed due to an input error by a sailor aboard the ship, causing the missile to self-destruct before reaching the target, according to the MDA. [ps/jm]

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