The clashes are currently ongoing, but pictures circulating online appear to show jihadist forces openly moving about the city. At least one policemen is reported killed and five soldiers wounded so far.
The video is the culmination of the Islamic State’s build up of its propaganda and activity in the region.
With increased social media presence and video and news releases by official Islamic State channels, Islamic State presence, activity, and interest in the Philippines is growing.
The Jund al Tawhid Battalion makes at least three Abu Sayyaf Group battalions to have defected to the Islamic State. However, it is still unclear if the entirety of Abu Sayyaf has done so.
The Philippines continue to face residual threats from jihadist groups, including several who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
While jihadist groups in the Philippines were thought to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State since late 2014, a video released last month by Islamic State supporters in the country confirmed these speculations. In a video released a few days ago by an Islamic State media outlet, the jihadist group officially recognized the pledges.
The Philippines-based jihadist group is notorious for taking Western hostages in southeast Asia.