Duterte: PHL won’t deploy troops to Middle East unless national interest requires so

(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte will not deploy Philippine troops to the Middle East unless the national interest requires it.

This is according to President Duterte himself, who spoke to reporters on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

“(It’s) out of the question. Unless the national interest would demand it and it will be decided not by me but me and Congress,” Duterte said.

According to the President, the Philippines would honor its Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States by allowing their troops to secure provisions, if needed.

“But to use the Philippines as a launching pad to fly the missiles and the rockets, I do not think (so). I have to stop,” he said.

Tensions between Iran and Iraq, and the United States are rising following the US killing of Iran’s top military official Qassam Soleimani in Iraq.

Iran has vowed to avenge his death, while Iraq called the US’ move an attack on its sovereignty.

US President Donald Trump, however, defended his move, saying Soleimani was planning to launch an attack on American diplomats and citizens.