In early June, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte predicted that the recently begun fighting in Marawi City between government forces and ISIL-linked militants would be over in three days. He was off by five months.
Last week, Duterte declared the city, on the restive southern island of Mindanao, “liberated from the terrorists’ influence,” and earlier this week battle operations officially ended.
What’s left is basically a destroyed city. Now begins the rebuilding, helped by heavy equipment—excavators, dump trucks, cement mixers—recently donated by China. Judging by photos taken this week, it’s going to take a while: