ISIS is maintaining a small and damaging presence in the Philippines, according to the quarterly report to Congress from the State Department’s lead inspector general on Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines. The report detailed the activities of the 250 U.S. military personnel advising the Philippine government and military, and estimated there are 500 ISIS terrorists in the country.
ISIS was dealt a sharp blow in the region after the death of its leader, Isnilon Hapilon, during the five-month-long siege of the city of Marawi last year. The Department of Defense launched Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines as an overseas contingency operation on Sept. 1, 2017.
According to the report:
- This quarter, ISIS-Philippines remained fragmented and degraded but still posed a security threat, carrying out several bombings against civilians
- ISIS-P lacked a formal command and control structure and was unable to carry out large-scale attacks.