Thai army’s offer to help Philippines against IS sparks criticism

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The Royal Thai Army said it is ready to send troops to the restive city of Marawi on Mindanao plagued by Islamic State terrorists to provide humanitarian aid if the Philippines seeks help from Thailand, but not everyone in Thailand is supporting that idea.

According to the chief of the army’s Counter Terrorist Operations Center, Thai troops, if requested, could be deployed to Marawi to provide humanitarian aid for residents affected by the conflict. He, however, stressed they would not engage in any combat.

At present, only military advisers from Australia and the U.S. are deployed in and around Marawi.

However, there are voices saying that such a move to engage in an Islamic State conflict should be considered carefully.

“Thailand would have to position itself carefully in this operation. Otherwise, we could invite trouble for ourselves,” an army source said.

In harsher words, a July 30 editorial in The Nation, Thailand’s second-largest English-language newspaper, entitled “Marawi is not our battle” warned that a decision by the Thai army to engage in Mindanao could indeed bring Thailand in the firing line of the Islamic State.

“One has to wonder what kind of thinking went into it before the Thai military decided it was ready and able to assist the Philippines army with the Marawi siege, an incident that could place the Kingdom in the loop with Islamic terrorists worldwide,” the opinion piece said.

It went on noting that “Thailand has never faced this kind of enemy. The country’s military has been engaged in a 14-year-long separatist insurgency in the far South, but the militants there generally confine themselves to the Malay-speaking area… But the Thai army should realise that the battle in Marawi is a totally different kind of conflict.”

The article concluded that “if Thailand is seen as getting directly involved [in an Islamic State conflict}, Muslim extremists will not need an invitation to enter Thailand to carry out terrorist attacks.”

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Royal Thai Army said it is ready to send troops to the restive city of Marawi on Mindanao plagued by Islamic State terrorists to provide humanitarian aid if the Philippines seeks help from Thailand, but not everyone in Thailand is supporting that idea.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Royal Thai Army said it is ready to send troops to the restive city of Marawi on Mindanao plagued by Islamic State terrorists to provide humanitarian aid if the Philippines seeks help from Thailand, but not everyone in Thailand is supporting that idea.

According to the chief of the army’s Counter Terrorist Operations Center, Thai troops, if requested, could be deployed to Marawi to provide humanitarian aid for residents affected by the conflict. He, however, stressed they would not engage in any combat.

At present, only military advisers from Australia and the U.S. are deployed in and around Marawi.

However, there are voices saying that such a move to engage in an Islamic State conflict should be considered carefully.

“Thailand would have to position itself carefully in this operation. Otherwise, we could invite trouble for ourselves,” an army source said.

In harsher words, a July 30 editorial in The Nation, Thailand’s second-largest English-language newspaper, entitled “Marawi is not our battle” warned that a decision by the Thai army to engage in Mindanao could indeed bring Thailand in the firing line of the Islamic State.

“One has to wonder what kind of thinking went into it before the Thai military decided it was ready and able to assist the Philippines army with the Marawi siege, an incident that could place the Kingdom in the loop with Islamic terrorists worldwide,” the opinion piece said.

It went on noting that “Thailand has never faced this kind of enemy. The country’s military has been engaged in a 14-year-long separatist insurgency in the far South, but the militants there generally confine themselves to the Malay-speaking area… But the Thai army should realise that the battle in Marawi is a totally different kind of conflict.”

The article concluded that “if Thailand is seen as getting directly involved [in an Islamic State conflict}, Muslim extremists will not need an invitation to enter Thailand to carry out terrorist attacks.”

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