Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that U.S. troops currently stationed in the country “have to go," NBC News reported.
The U.S. has withdrawn much of its military presence in the Philippines, but some special forces remain on a southern island in the archipelago, training Filipino troops to fight against ISIS-linked group Abu Sayyaf.
At a public appearance Monday, Duterte said that the U.S. presence in the country could complicate the Philippines’ offensives against the Islamist militants, who are known for beheading and kidnapping Westerners.
In his speech, the Philippine president echoed comments he’d made last week accusing the U.S. of atrocities against Muslims on Jolo Island more than a century ago.
Duterte was in the U.S. spotlight last week, after using profanity directed toward President Obama in a television interview.