The Pentagon is considering a plan that would allow the U.S. military to conduct airstrikes on ISIS in the Philippines, two defense officials told NBC News.
The authority to strike ISIS targets, most likely with the use of armed drones, could be granted as part of an official military operation that may be named as early as Tuesday, the officials said.
Under the proposed plan, the U.S. military would be able to conduct strikes against ISIS targets that could be a threat to U.S. allies in the region, including the Philippine forces already battling ISIS on the country’s southern islands.
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In Manila on Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. was providing the Philippines government with "intelligence capabilities" in the fight against ISIS, including "some recent transfers of a couple of Cessnas and a couple of UAVs (drones) to allow to them to have better information with which to conduct the fight down there."