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More US troops deployed in Mindanao than Iraq, group claims

There are around 6,000 American troops staying in Mindanao, much more than the 3,000 US soldiers in Iraq, the International League of Peoples' Struggle-Philippines said in a press release on Saturday.
Citing Manilakbayan spokesperson Fr. Christopher Ablon, ILPS said the US troops in Mindanao are stationed in Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City.

ILPS also said the US contingent in Mindanao is double the Iraq deployment which has recently received a 1,500 augmentation force bringing the total of American troops there to 2,900.
The US currently maintains rotational troops in the country agreed upon under the Visiting Forces Agreement.

Critics of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which allows more US troops into the Philippines and gives the US military access to certain Armed Forces of the Philippines facilities, have asked the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional.
GMA News Online sought the AFP for comment but they have yet to reply as of posting time.
According to defense industry website Global Security, there are from 500 to 600 American soldiers in Mindanao under the Joint Special Operations Task Force - Philippines (JSOTF-P), which " at the request of the Philippine government, work alongside the AFP to defeat terrorists and create the conditions necessary for peace, stability, and prosperity in the Southern Philippines."
The official JSOTF-P website cited by Global Security said the task force "is comprised of between 500 and 600 personnel from all four military services, including Army Special Operations Forces, Navy Seals, Air Force special operators and a host of support personnel from all four US military services."

They are in the country in a "strictly non-combat role," the website said. — Andrei Medina/JDS, GMA News