MANILA, Aug. 15 — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will conduct a massive revamp on the way its units approach urban warfare once the Marawi crisis is successfully resolved.
AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo made the statement, stressing that proposed upgrades will focus on theories, doctrines, tactics, techniques and procedures on this form of fighting the Maute Group terrorists are using.
“Although the AFP has experience on urban warfare (e.g. close quarter battles), the fighting in Marawi City is a different level as (our troops have to fight in a locality) with very dense and reinforced structures (which the enemy is using a firing points and hiding places),” he added in Filipino Monday.
Aside from the well-built structures converted by lawless elements into fighting positions, troops engaged in clearing operations are constantly being threatened by improvised explosive devices and snipers.
Worsening the situation is the fact the Maute Group terrorists are willing to use civilian hostages as human shields, destroy private and public properties indiscriminately to meet their ends, and willingness to sacrifice themselves for their cause.
Arevalo said the AFP needs to evaluate how its troops and their tactics have fared vis-a-vis against the enemy.
This evaluation will determine the changes in the military’s urban warfare theories, doctrines, tactics, techniques and procedures.
As of this posting, Maute Group elements killed are placed at 562 along with 128 troops and 45 civilians executed. Firearms recovered are placed at 619 along with 11 improvised explosive devices, while 1,728 civilians rescued from the hands of the enemy.