“Col. Brown reported to us that he is now here as part of the transition team because they will be pulling out from the city of Zamboanga,” Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said during her Monday press briefing.
“Our partnership with the Philippine security forces has been successful in drastically reducing the capabilities of domestic and transnational terrorist groups in the Philippines,” Kurt Hoyer, the U.S. Embassy Press Attache told AP last month.
Hoyer added that terror groups in the region “have largely devolved into disorganized groups resorting to criminal undertakings to sustain their activities.”
Amid the pulling out of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P), created mainly for counter-terrorism, few US troops will be left to assist the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) in counter-terrorism activities.
During the stay of JSOTF-P in Western Mindanao Command, 600 US troops were maintained to be in deployed but in a rotational basis.
It was reported that Abu Sayyaf terrorists have diminished in terms of number from thousands to about 300 fighters.
US-PH now have entered in an enhanced defense agreement allowing the positioning of US ships, access military bases, and increase troops to be rotated inside the country.