The Indonesian military said it will prepare troops to help release the 10 Indonesian sailors held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf group in Sabah.
Indonesia said that it is waiting for ‘concrete agreements’ to be hammered out on how to conduct such operations, so far no word from Manila on that agreement.
Commander Gen. Catot Nurmantyo said the force was well prepared and waiting for the final say in Manila to assist the Philippines and Malaysia in operations to release the hostages from the hands of the Islamic State affiliated terrorists.
The Philippines has yet to allow Indonesia to drop its armed forces on the islands of the Philippines – even after Saturday’s abduction of three more Indonesian sailors, marking the fourth such incident since January of this year.
“[The Philippines] has given the green light to allow us [to enter its territory], but the concrete agreement will be decided later by the defense minister,” Gatot said on Monday.
Talks are also on the way with Malaysia and the Philippines on Tuesday to layout an agreement on joint maritime security – that talk will also include additional measures to release the hostages in yet another agreement.
Indonesia is not only prepared to rescue its hostages, they are also fully prepared to help guard every barge and tugboat that travels the waterways being pirated by the rebel group.
Indonesia said that they are ready to put military personnel on every ship traveling through the waters of Sabah and Sulu. Sources say the government has agreed to put at least five armed gunmen on each ship.
This Saturday, three Indonesian sailors were taken hostage in Sabah (Malaysia) waters while conducting fishing activities in the region. In all, a total of 10 Indonesians are now held captive by Abu Sayyaf – sources say that the 10 men are being held on several different islands in preparation for the attacks against the group.