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Duterte Says U.S. Special Forces Must Leave Southern Philippines

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said U.S. troops must leave the southern island of Mindanao, saying their presence would worsen the situation in the Muslim-majority area long riven by insurgency and terrorism.

The Philippines will review its policy of allowing American forces to combat terrorist groups in Mindanao, Duterte said Monday in a speech in Manila. As many as 1,300 U.S. special forces troops have been present on the island since 2002.

“These special forces, they have to go,” Duterte said. “They have to, in Mindanao — there are many white men there.”

“I just couldn’t say it before out of respect,” he added. “I don’t want a rift with America but they have to go.” – READ MORE

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