June 11, 2017 / 10:02 AM / 3 months ago

Philippines' Duterte not aware of U.S. support against Islamists in Marawi

Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte answer questions during a press briefing after awarding wounded soldiers, who fight against the insurgents of the Maute group, which has taken over large parts of the Marawi city, during his visit at the military camp hospital in Cagayan De Oro, Philippines June 11, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday he was not aware the U.S. government was providing assistance to government troops in its battle against Islamist militants in a southern city.

Duterte also said he “never approached America” for help.

“I am not aware of that until they arrived,” Duterte told a media briefing when asked about U.S. support to fight the pro-Islamic State militants in Marawi City.

U.S. forces were providing the Philippines with technical assistance, but they had no “boots on the ground”, the Philippines military said on Saturday.

Writing by Karen Lema; Editing by Robert Birsel

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