October 22, 2021

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Philippine Special Action Force Commandos In Combat With BIFF Rebels In Maguindanao

3 min read

Helmet cam combat footage from the Philippines shows Commandos from the Special Action Forces of the National Police in combat with fighters from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) rebel group in Datu Paglas; Maguindanao.

You can see the the Commandos taking cover behind an APC being engaged by BIFF fighters before moving in to fighting position under cover fire inside a nearby house that provides better cover and engagement possibilities.

It is unclear when exactly this firefight took place since the region were the clash happened is known for a number of skirmishes and clashes between government forces and rebels.

All we can say at the moment is that this video appeared 3 years ago on several social media sites with no further context to the footage.

The Special Action Force (SAF) is the elite unit of the Philippine National Police founded by Fidel V. Ramos, later the eleventh President of the Philippines.

SAF Commandos have received training from the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG), RAID and Yamam. The Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU) of the SAF is responsible for police counter-terrorism (CT) operations nationwide.

SAF members must undergo the SAF Commando Course (or equivalent training such as Scout Ranger Course, Force Reconnaissance Course, Special Forces Operations Course) to be allowed to wear the SAF Beret. It also serves as the foundation course or prerequisite for other SAF specialization trainings such as Explosives and Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Basic Airborne Course (BAC), Urban Counter Revolutionary Warfare Course (SURESHOCK), SCUBA-BUSROC (Basic Under-Water Search and Rescue Operations Course), SAF Seaborne Warfare Course (SSWC) and others. Training occurs at the unit’s headquarters in Cuartel de Santo Domingo, Santa Rosa, Laguna.

Its Air Unit conducts its own in-house Police Pilot Training for the Fixed-Wing Aircraft and Helicopters.

The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), also known as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement, is an Islamist militant organization based in Mindanao, the Philippines. It is a smaller player in the overall Moro insurgency in the Philippines and is mostly active in Maguindanao and other places in central Mindanao. It is a breakaway group from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front founded by Ameril Umbra Kato. Following Kato’s death, the group split into three factions, one of which has aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while the other two are less radical.

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