CANBERRA, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Special Forces may go one step further in aiding the Philippines in its fight against Islamic State (IS), as the two sides prepare to discuss training of troops, advising and other assistance.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed Friday that Defense Minister Marise Payne will be visiting Manila "shortly" to continue discussions on how the Australian troops would be best utilized, after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte formally accepted Australia's offer of assistance to train and advise local troops earlier on the day.
The Filipino army has been engaged in a battle with the extremist terrorist group since May when IS-linked group launched an assault on the southeastern city of Marawi in an attempt to establish its Southeast Asian headquarters.
Australia has been offering support in the form of spy planes and intelligence, but no Australian troops have yet set foot in the Philippines.
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