TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said that he will join hands with the neighboring countries to tackle the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Southeast Asia. He said that the government must be prepared in the wake of the conflict in the Mindanao Island, south Philippine, caused by an ISIS-affiliated group in the past few weeks.
“I will meet [the defense ministers of] Malaysia and the Philippines, because ISIS could gain traction if we let it,” Ryamizard said in Jakarta yesterday.
He said that he predicted ISIS expansion in south Philippines one and a half year ago.
“I had said it before: beware, beware. After it [ISIS] was battered in Europe, it would get back there [the Philippines],” Ryamizard said at the Defense Ministry building yesterday.
The Minister claimed that he has plans to tackle the radical group. “We have planned to cut off the links; land, marine and air patrols will be needed. The military must be actively involved in Sulawesi and Kalimantan,” he said.
However, Ryamizard said that the Philippine law prevents Indonesia from launching land patrols.
The former army chief of staff suggests that the Philippine relaxes its territorial rules. “There are sensitive things but under such critical condition, the Philippines has to understand that it threatens their territory. It will be discussed in Singapore tomorrow,” Ryamizard said.