Sukhoi jet fighters ready to intercept ISIS infiltrators
Tarakan (ANTARA News) - Three Sukhoi jet fighters of the Indonesian Air Force are parked in Tarakan, North Kalimantan ready to help prevent the Maute militants from crossing the border from southern Philippines into the Indonesian territory.
The militants affiliated to the Islamic State Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are fighting the Philippines government military that are seeking to drive the Islamic rebels from Marawi , a city in southern Philippines.
The militants have occupied Marawi since last month, forcing Manila to send larger troops to that city.
Chief of the Air Force base in Tarakan, Colonel Didik Krisyanto said the three Sukhoi aircraft, arrived on Friday to stay for a month in Tarakan to help forestall possible infiltration of the radicals from entering Indonesia after large scale offensive by the Philippine government military.
"The militants might flee the Philippines and were forced to cross the border to Indonesia," Didik said.
Earlier, Chief of a navy base in Tahuna, Sangihe, Col. Setiyo Widodo said the navy was closely watching the sea border between Indonesia and the Philippines from its outpost in North Sulawesis outer island .
"The navy intensified patrol for security in the sea border with the Philippines," the colonel said.
Sea patrol has been a routine duty, but with what is happening in the Philippines it is necessary to intensify security patrols , he added.
He said the navy coordinated with the army and police in the regency of Sangihe to guarantee security in the district, adding the people have also been told to report any suspicious people or movements to the security authorities in the border areas.
Fishermen make up most of the people of the district that they could be relied on for information about suspicious movement in the sea and coastal areas, he said.
He said all people should continue to do their routine as the security apparatuses will always be ready for their protection.
Meanwhile, polices Mobile Brigade Corps had been sent to the border area in Northern Gorontalo and North Sulawesi to prevent fleeing terrorist from crossing the border to the region.
Gorontalo police chief Brig.Gen. Rachmad Fudail, said is one of the closest Indonesian regions to southern Philippines. It is not impossible that the ISIS fighters crossed the border to Indonesia to escape from being caught in the clash with the Philippines government, military.
Chief of the Gorontalo polices Mobile Brigade corps Sr. Com. Kamaruddin said a troop of Mobile Brigade corps had been dispatched to the border area to help guarantee security in the region.
The Indonesian government has expressed concern about the conflict in Marawi. ISIS sympathizers already showed their presence in the country including by suicide bombing attacks.
The Indonesian Military Chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo said there are 16 "sleeping" cells of ISIS that need to be watched in the country.(*)
Tarakan, located on Tarakan Island is one of the major cities in northern Borneo, just across the border from Sabah, Malaysia. Once a major oil producing region during the colonial period, Tarakan had great strategic importance during the Pacific War and was among the first Japanese targets early in the war. It is the sole city within the newly established (in 2012) Indonesian province of North Kalimantan.