The armed forces said on Thursday 1st June 2017, an airstrike in a southern Philippine city has killed 11 government troops. The incident happened on Wednesday 31st May 2017, when one of two planes bombing rebel positions missed its target in the heart of Marawi City. During the first offensive deployment of fixed-wing aircraft in the operation bombing error came aimed to flush out the Islamist gunman. Defence Secretary, Delfin Lorenzana said, “Sometimes in the fog of war a lot of things could happen. Accidents happen, like this”. Delfin Lorenzana added, “It’s very sad to be hitting our own troops”. Further, he said, “There must be a mistake somewhere, either someone directing from the ground or the pilot”. The accidental incident killed 39 security force members with 19 civilians, 120 rebel fighters killed in the Marawi battles.
Defence Secretary, Lorenzana said Saudi, Malaysian, Indonesian, Yemeni and Chechen militants were among eight foreigners killed. Lorenzana said, “Air strikes might be suspended, describing the rebels as a small force that “cannot hold that long”. Rebels were using women and children as human shields, the military said. A leader of the Muslim separatist group, Ghazali Jaafar, appealed to the Maute to free Christians including a Catholic priest, Teresito “Chito” Soganub, being held, hostage. The air strikes are aiming places where the military trusts the so-called emir of Islamic State could be hiding. Islamic State flags have been spotted around Marawi City. Pictures have been spread broadly online of smiling fighters outfitted in the black attire typical of Islamic State. Restituto Padilla, Military spokesman said the accidental bombarding would not discourage the government from defeating the militants. He added,” “The risk is very much in the heart of every soldier”.