Mr. Speaker, ISIS fighters are regrouping in the Philippines. It was only a year ago that Philippine forces, with help from the U.S. military, retook the city of Marawi after a bloody five-month siege. Reports now suggest that fresh ISIS foreign fighters have arrived in the area and are preparing to unleash a new wave of terror. America must be prepared to blunt their resurgence.
It should surprise no one, that after the fall of ISIS's so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq, that the terror group would disperse its fighters and attempt to build a new caliphate somewhere else. Two decades of fighting jihadists has shown they are an adaptive and relentless foe. ISIS itself was defeated by U.S. forces in Iraq almost a decade ago but because of Obama's naive withdrawal, was able to rally new recruits and exploit instability in the Middle East. But we have learned our lessons and will not stand by as ISIS attempts another revival.
We are in a long war with ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other extremists. From Mali to Mindanao, America has stood ready to confront jihadism much as we stood ready to counter communism around the globe during the Cold War. The Philippines is a strategic ally of the United States and we will not abandon our commitments. We must see to it that the Philippines have what they need to crush ISIS's attempted comeback and ensure its lasting defeat.
ISIS's attempts to regroup will not end in the Philippines. Our successes against ISIS remain fragile and, without continued vigilance, can be undone. Our allies must know that the U.S. is prepared to stand with them but also note that it is their fight as well. It is their security that is most threatened by ISIS's crusade of terror. We are in this fight together until the ideology that drives Islamic extremism relegated to history.
And that's just the way it is.