Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
S E C R E T MANILA 005316
STATE FOR INR/EAP, S/CT, AND EAP/MTS
SECDEF/OSD/ISA/AP FOR ALLEN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/14/2015
TAGS: PTER PINS MOPS MARR MCAP RP
SUBJECT: AFP ENGAGES ABU SAYYAF TERRORISTS ON JOLO
Classified By: (U) Political Officer Paul O’Friel
for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).
¶1. (C) In a significant combat operation, Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) units engaged Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
terrorists on the island of Jolo over the weekend of November
12-13. The AFP initiated the operation, which involved Task
Force Comet and elements of the 104th Brigade, 3d Marine
Brigade, Philippine Air Force, and the Philippine Navy, to
capture/kill a key ASG sub-commander, Dr. Abu, in the
vicinity of Mt. Tumatangas.
¶2. (C) Despite torrential rain and steep terrain, AFP units
maintained contact with the terrorists. The heavy fighting
left 21 AFP soldiers wounded in action and four dead. The
AFP believes the ASG suffered significant casualties, but we
have not been able to confirm these estimates independently.
¶3. (S/NF) Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines
(JSOTF-P) liaison elements provided intelligence support and
advice at the battalion-level and above during the operation.
JSOTF-P was not involved in the planning phase of the
operation until it was well underway, and was, therefore,
unable to assist in developing its more detailed aspects.
¶4. (C) COMMENT. The AFP fought credibly on difficult terrain
and in austere weather conditions, maneuvering to and
maintaining contact with enemy forces. While suffering
casualties of their own, they continued to press on and
remained in the field. The SOUTHCOM Commander, LTG Adan,
appears committed to pursuing the ASG, and has reportedly
instructed the Task Force Comet Commander to keep up the
pressure, with the goal of capturing senior ASG targets
before the end of December.
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