The Daily Manila Shimbun


Philippine military may limit airstrikes after 10 soldiers killed, 7 others wounded in ‘friendly fire’

June 1, 2017

The Philippine military may limit air strikes after at least 10 soldiers were killed and seven were wounded when the Air Force missed the Maute Terror Group target in Marawi City, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Thursday. Lorenzana admitted the military had run out of the precision-guided munitions, thus, it had to use a the aircraft like the S-260, which uses conventional bombs In a press briefing in Malacanang, Lorenzana said investigation has been going on after the second jet, a Marchetti S-260 that dropped the ordnance, hit the soldiers, who were about 100 meters away, from the targetted terrorists during the operation on Wednesday. Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Eduardo Ano was tasked to head the investigation to determine if there was "miscommunication or there was an error of somebody there on the ground or on the air on the part of the pilot," he said. Lorenzana said he directed the ground commanders to determine if air strikes would still be needed, "especially now there are more troops operating on the ground and the chances of hitting our own troops is very big like what happened yesterday." "And perhaps we have to limit the air strikes to the aircraft that can deliver accurately their ordnance," he added. He said the commanders were reviewing standard operating procedure to avoid similar incident from happening. "It's very, very painful. It's very sad to be hitting our own troops," he said.  (Celerina Monte/DMS)