The Philippine military has sent eight Autonomous Truck Mounted Howitzer System (ATMOS 2000) 155mm self-propelled guns to Mindanao to support counter-terrorism operations in the southern region.
According to Defense Undersecretary Jose Faustino, Jr., the Israeli-made artillery systems are game-changing assets “that will bolster the military’s territorial defense capabilities as well as internal security operations.”
The military hardware was shipped from Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Luzon’s Cavite province on September 24 and arrived five days later at Makar Port in General Santos City.
“This new capability will be utilized against the terrorist groups who are now on the run because of our relentless focused military operations,” said General Roy Galido, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Central.
The eight ATMOS systems are to be distributed to various army units in Mindanao to address insurgency threats.
History of Insurgency
Mindanao, the Philippines’ second largest island, has a long history of insurgency.
In 2017, the Islamic City of Marawi faced a five-month-long armed conflict after pro-ISIS militants sieged the northwest-central Mindanao city.
The conflict was triggered when government forces attempted to arrest ISIS leader Isnilon Hapilon, who was later killed in a night-time operation in October of the same year.