Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines launch joint air patrols

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines have begun coordinated air patrols to intensify their fight against militants who have laid siege to a southern Philippine city.

The start of the air patrols comes four months after the three countries launched joint maritime patrols to prevent Islamic State (IS) group-aligned militants in the southern Philippines from fleeing to neighbouring nations.

The siege in the Philippine city of Marawi has raised fears that the IS group’s violent ideology is gaining a foothold in the country’s restive south, where separatists have fought for greater autonomy for decades.