Philippines' Duterte receives Russian assault rifles

27 October, 2017, 01:14 | Author: Diane Mills
  • RPG-7 grenade launcher

Russia's military products donation includes 20 trucks, 5,000 units of AK-74M Kalashnikov assault rifle, one million units of 1943-type cartridges with steel core bullets, and 5,000 units of steel helmets.

Russian Federation yesterday turned over trucks, rifles and other military equipment to the Philippines as the two countries moved to further enhance nascent defense ties with the signing of an agreement on defense and technical cooperation.

Duterte, known for his strident anti-American rhetoric, has made no secret of his plans to cultivate ties with America's rivals, Russian Federation and China.

Just before he met Mattis, Duterte sat down with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday, who, like Mattis, was attending a gathering of Asian defense ministers north of Manila.

Except for military trucks and helicopters, Elefante did not specify what other defense equipment would be procured from Russian Federation.

Before the turnover ceremony, Duterte boarded the anti-submarine ship Admiral Pantaleev docked at Pier 15 at the Port of Manila.

Duterte embarked on an official visit to Russian Federation in May which he said was productive despite being cut short.

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The same day that Mattis landed in the Philippines, Manila announced the end of five months of military operations in a southern city of Marawi held by pro-Islamic State rebels, after a fierce and unfamiliar urban war that marked the country's biggest security crisis in years. He will host the leaders of Southeast and East Asia in November.

"It was a tough fight", Mattis said during his flight, adding he thought the Philippines had sent "a very necessary message to the terrorists".

Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana said U.S. Special Forces would continue to stay in Mindanao as they were needed to provide capabilities that the local military forces did not have.

Australian and US military helped provide crucial reconnaissance and targeting during that fight.

The U.S. military has been providing surveillance capability for the military, particularly in Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The Philippines also signed a contract to purchase rocket propelled grenade launchers, the Russian ministry said without stating how many weapons would be acquired or how much the deal was worth. More than 100 people were killed in hostilities. The poorly equipped Philippine army needs allies.

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