According to NBC News, Pentagon is considering a plan that allows the U.S. military to conduct airstrikes on ISIS in the Philippines.
The authority to strike ISIS targets as part of collective self-defense could be granted as part of an official military operation that may be named as early as Tuesday, said the officials.
The strikes would likely be conducted by armed drones.
If approved, the U.S. military would be able to conduct strikes against ISIS targets in the Philippines that could be a threat to allies in the region, which would include the Philippine forces battling ISIS on the ground in the country’s southern islands.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte, calling himself America’s “humble friend” in Southeast Asia, thanked the United States for its assistance to the Philippines during a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Malacañang on Monday.
The President said he was “happy” to see Tillerson again.
Tillerson was accompanied by US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and other American officials when he paid a courtesy call on Duterte.