There’s a Big Power Struggle Happening in the Philippines

The Background

Early last week, the Maute militia staged an attack in Marawi in the Philippines, killing 100 and seizing control of the southern city. The group has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, and experts see the attack as an attempt to attract the attention of the terrorist organization and get recognized as their Southeast Asian affiliate. Tuesday’s attack took the Filipino military by surprise, and despite waging both ground and air assaults on the militants, they have not reclaimed the area. Though after seven days of fighting, Filipino commanders say that the “end is almost there.” CNBC

Why You Should Care

The conflict in the Philippines shows how far the Islamic State’s influence goes, and that, now more than ever, they need to be defeated. The attack took theĀ Filipino government completely by surprise, which allowed the group to free “sympathizers” and “fighters” from jail as they made their way through the area. With such a strong foothold in the region, government officials are worried that the Philippines could become a haven for terrorists in surrounding countries.

What Next?

The fighting will continue until the Filipino military retakes the city of Malawi, at which point they’ll try to locate, capture or kill the men responsible.