The issue of the impending return of hundreds of Southeast Asian fighters who also fought with Daesh in Syria and Iraq has been part of the agenda at an Australia-US ministerial summit, attended by top US and Australian officials, including Pentagon chief Jim Mattis and Canberra's Defense Minister Marise Payne.
"[Deash fighters will] come back with battlefield skills, they'll come back with hardened ideology, they'll come back angry, frustrated, and we need to be very aware of that," Payne said.
Payne voiced "absolute support" for US President Donald Trump's newly introduced "annihilation tactics" in the fight against Daesh, aimed at targeting the terror group more aggressively and preventing those who choose to fight with Daesh from coming back to their home countries, importing their military experience and ideology along with them.
"In this campaign, where before we were shelling them from one town to another, we now take the time… to make certain that foreign fighters do not stay to return to Paris, France, to Australia… and bring their message of hatred and their skills back to those places and attack innocent people," Mattis said, adding that the new approach doesn't obviate the policy of doing everything possible to prevent civilian casualties.
The Philippines military is confronting the Maute extremist group, which has pledged allegiance to Daesh, in an ongoing clash in the city of Marawi. Maute fighters went on a rampage through Marawi in response to security forces raiding the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, leader of local extremist group and Daesh affiliate Abu Sayyaf.