]>> A pivotal moment for the Philippine military. Officials vowing to retake the southern city of Marawi from ISIS-linked rebels within days after troops killed two top insurgent commanders on Monday. Reuters' Martin Petty explains why it's a major milestone.>> This was a big deal. Isnilon Hapilon was picked by the Islamic State to be its leader of its regional cell in Southeast Asia.
He was wanted by the FBI, a $5 million bounty for more than 15 years. The other leader was Omar Maute, one of two brothers who leads a clan by the same name that has a reputation for its combat capability, for its fundraising activities, and has been a real problem for the Philippine authorities.
>> The military says the two leaders were killed in an early morning raid after a freed hostage gave away their location. The pair have been central to regrouping, rearming and recruiting militants. And while terrorism experts describe their deaths as a tremendous set back to IS loyalists, the mission is seen as a turning point for the Philippine army which has been criticized for its slow progress in taking back Marawi since rebels laid siege to it five months ago.
>> What's a surprise is that these two leaders were still in Marawi at this late stage in the battle. On previous occasions, they've escaped and lived to fight another day. We can expect they will have deputies who will fill the void and continue their extremist agenda.>> More than 1,000 people have being killed in the fighting which has become the country's biggest internal security crisis in years.
The army chief says the operation is a triumph of good over evil and urged the 30 militants left in a shrinking combat zone to surrender and free hostages as local troops step up their fight.>>