U.S., Philippines to hold military drill to protect oil rig

Oil

U.S. and Philippine marines plan to hold combat drills at an oil rig in the South China Sea to bolster the defense of such sensitive facilities in a bold move that may provoke protests from China, which claims waters in or near the location.

Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban, commander of the Philippine military's Western Command, said Thursday the exercises will be held in March or April off western Palawan province and should not alarm China because these will be done within Philippine territorial waters.

The drills involve U.S. Marines training their Philippine counterparts in defending and retaking oil and gas rigs captured by security threats like terrorists, Sabban said, adding military organizers from both sides did not contemplate on China as an imaginary target when they planned the drills.

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