Issue Brief on “Joint Military Cooperation between Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines”


Malaysian English daily The Sunday Daily reported on October 13, 2017 that Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will begin coordinated air patrols off the strife-torn southern Philippines in November to combat the growing threat posed by Islamist militants.[1]The paper also quoted Malaysian defense ministry spokeswoman that “patrols were aimed at combating the threat from Daesh (IS), piracy and sea robberies”.[2]The main focus of these joint air and naval patrols is the area of Sulu Sea.

The Sulu Sea is located in the southwestern region of the Philippines, separated from the South China Sea in the northwest by Palawan and from the Celebes Sea in the southeast by the Sulu Archipelago. Borneo is found to the southwest and Visayas to the northeast. Sulu Sea contains a number of islands. The Cuyo Islands and Cagayan Sulu are part of the province of Palawan whereas Mapun and the Turtle Islands are part of the province of Tawi-Tawi.

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