ESCALATION

Philippine President to U.S. Troops: Leave My Country

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday that he wants the U.S. to pull its troops out of the southern part of his country. It is the first time Duterte has publicly voiced his disapproval of U.S. troops’ presence in the strategically important country, and it comes just one week after he called President Obama a “son of a whore” (and later expressed regrets). The U.S. forces are a Bush administration holdover, sent in to train Filipino troops who were attempting to expel al Qaeda-linked militants. “For as long as we stay with America, we will never have peace in that land,” Duterte said. “The Special Forces, they have to go.” He also blamed the U.S. for the restiveness among Muslims in his country’s south.