Kenney, Smith hail RP drive on Sayyaf
|Posted by Manila Mail under US News|
ZAMBOANGA CITY The campaign of the Philippine government against the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf has been working well as expected, US Ambassador Kristie Kenney and visiting US Rep. Adama Smith (D-Washington) said here recently.
Kenney attributed the military success in curbing the Abu Sayyaf and its Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) cohorts from launching terror attacks to the growing vigilance of the civilian population.
I think thats (anti-terrorism campaign) going well and I think part of that is you got a lot of communities who are working with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),” Kenney said.
Rep. Smith, a member of the US House of Representatives armed services committee, and Kenney assessed the situation with ground commanders of the AFPs Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom). They held a closed-door meeting with Westmincom commander Lt. Gen. Nelson Allaga on the ongoing military operations against the Abu Sayyaf and JI militants.
Smith, who also chairs the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Warfare and Capabilities, expressed continued support for the AFP operation against terrorism, according to Gen. Allaga.
Allaga said that after Smith left, he left his technical working committee to continue the detailed assessment of the AFPs operations against the Abu Sayyaf.
The military described last years operation against the Abu Sayyaf as its banner year with the killing of key leaders of the bandit group.
Allaga said last year, the military neutralized 245 armed groups allied with the Abu Sayyaf.
Allaga said the operation also prevented the terrorists from staging bombings in Western Mindanao.