More than 3,500 US and Filipino marines will launch a two-week war exercise in the northern Philippines this week, with maneuvers including mock beach and artillery assaults, officials said Sunday.
The annual exercises begin on Tuesday and involve combat maneuvers on a Philippine marine base, an army special forces camp and an air force gunnery area on northern Luzon island, local navy spokesman Lt. Col. Ariel Caculitan said.
He said no exercises were scheduled in the southern Mindanao region, where a small US-military contingent has separately provided counterterrorism training and weapons to troops battling al-Qaida-linked militants since 2002.
The Philippines holds several military exercises each year with the US, its longtime ally, under a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty and two other security accords.
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