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Jakarta Post

ASEAN uniting to crush IS

  • Safrin La Batu

    The Jakarta Post

Tarakan, North Kalimantan   /   Tue, June 20 2017   /  12:09 am

What is brewing in the region at the northeastern tip of Kalimantan has sent a chilling message to ASEAN.

The growing influence of the Islamic State (IS) group coupled with a string of kidnappings by insurgent Islamist groups has forced three nations in the ASEAN bloc to unite and act.

Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines on Monday deployed warships to patrol the waters plagued by this threat, signaling the start of unprecedented joint patrols by the countries that share borders with one another in the area.

Warships, speedboats and helicopters maneuvered in a coordinated manner in a military drill to salvage a hijacked container vessel. This exercise marked the beginning of joint patrols that kicked off at an Indonesian naval base in the North Kalimantan capital of Tarakan.

Defense ministries and army chiefs from the three countries attended the ceremony....