Duterte

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.

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