Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines Launch Joint Air Patrol Operation

Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines Launch Joint Air Patrol Operation”

Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines today launched the Trilateral Air Patrol (TAP) operations over Sulu Seas to tackle cross-border crime issues including terrorist threats and kidnappings.

THE conduct of trilateral air patrol operations among the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia was aimed to bolster efforts to counter terrorism in the region, Malacañang said on Saturday, October 14.

"The extensive nature of the effects inflicted by these threats has made it clear that it should not be addressed by one country alone".

Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu once again put this angle in the spotlight at the launching of new trilateral air patrols at Subang Air Base this week when he said that though there were requests from countries, including the United States and China, to join the patrols, this would need to be considered carefully.

Indonesia will propose a broad intelligence sharing initiative among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to deal with the rising threat of radical Islamist militants, its defence minister said on Thursday.

The Philippines, in particular, has seen the impact of the rise of militancy in the region with the months-long siege of Marawi City by the Islamic State-inspired Maute militant group.

"The coordinated joint air patrols between the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia were launched in Malaysia to better counter the movement of terrorist groups and to strengthen the security of our three nations and that of the region", he added.

"We can not refute the fact that the coalition's successes against Daesh militants in the Middle East have led to the return of foreign fighters to our region", he said.

The newly implemented joint air patrols now open the air space between the three countries, as well.

"It is up to us to guarantee that the area is secure and safe".

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