On October 23, after five months of intensive fighting, the Philippine military announced that it had recaptured the Muslim-majority city of Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, from militants affiliated with the Islamic State (or ISIS). This victory marked the end of the Philippines’ longest and bloodiest conflict in recent memory. According to current estimates, nearly 800 militants, 158 government troops, and 47 civilians lost their lives in the fighting, and much of the city has been reduced to rubble.
Most of the ISIS-affiliated leadership in Mindanao was killed during the siege, representing a major setback for regional jihadist groups, which had hoped to establish an ISIS province (wilayat) on the island. Instead, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte—aided by China, Russia, the United States, and neighbors in the region—has managed to nip the prospect of a Southeast Asian caliphate in the bud.
The end of hostilities in Marawi, however, should not be
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