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The Fight in Marawi City and the Struggles to Come

Jul 24, 2017 | 11:44 GMT
Philippine troops head to Marawi City to fight Islamist militants. Government success against a long history of insurgencies on the southern island of Mindanao comes piecemeal, and reversals always seem to follow.

Philippine troops head to Marawi City to fight Islamist militants. Government success against a long history of insurgencies on the southern island of Mindanao comes piecemeal, and reversals always seem to follow.

(TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

The grinding, street-to-street fighting in Marawi City against Islamic State-affiliated militants has focused worldwide attention on the restive and relatively remote Mindanao region of the Philippines. In time, the fighting will subside. But, as with the Iraqi city of Mosul, this monthslong episode is only one part of a longer struggle — one with roots centuries deep and with difficult prospects for a lasting resolution. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a political outsider with a strongman image, is preparing measures that aim to bring stability to the region — and forward his own objectives in the process....

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