The Philippine military has declared an eight-hour halt to its air and ground offensive against ISIS militants in the southern Marawi city to allow people, most of them displaced by the fighting, to celebrate the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

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How nice of them.


The “humanitarian pause” in military assaults will take effect at 6 a.m. Sunday in predominantly Muslim Marawi but will be lifted immediately if the militants open fire or threaten troops and civilians, Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said.

“If the enemy starts firing … anyone can exercise their right to self-defense,” Padilla said in a statement.


It’s the first planned ‘truce’ in the massive offensive after a month of brutal battles on the streets and military airstrikes that have left at least 280 militants, 69 soldiers and policemen, and 26 civilians dead. The intense fighting has turned large areas of the largely Muslim populated city in the south into a war zone.

About 500 gunmen, including several foreign fighters, stormed the lakeside city of 200,000 people, occupied buildings, burned schools and hoisted Islamic State group-style black flags on May 23, Fox News reports.

Faced by his worst crisis, President Rodrigo Duterte responded by declaring martial law in the south and ordering a massive offensive.

Padilla said the cease-fire will be observed by the military “as a gesture of our strong commitment and respect to the Muslim world,” particularly to Marawi’s Muslim residents.

Thousands of troops and police have been deployed to end a 27-day siege by fighters aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in the southern city of Marawi, Al Jazeera reported.

The siege in Marawi has forced Duterte to declare martial law in the southern island.

The intense fighting has left at least 242 fighters, 56 soldiers and policemen and 26 civilians dead. It has turned the heartland of the Muslim-majority city into a battlefield, and displaced 300,000 people. Evacuation centers are reportedly extremely overcrowded.

The US military has deployed a spy plane and drones to help troops to end the insurrection, which was started by an estimated 500 ISIL fighters, including foreign operatives.

The military said more than 100 fighters are holed up in the city, holding an unspecified number of civilian hostages.

So, we will see if this actually happens although I have my doubts- this all depends on ISIS behaving themselves which is highly unlikely.

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