“Possibly, while we are hitting them harder, we will see more terrorist attacks in the coming months,” Santos said on a visit to the southwestern Colombian town of Buga.
According to Santos, the armed forces’ permament presence in areas traditionally controlled by the FARC has generated despair within the rebel ranks and explains recent rebel attacks on police and army that has killed dozens of members of the security forces in the past months.
“We’re pulling them out of their dens … this has generated a reaction of despair,” the president said, adding that “terrorism has increased and possibly will continue to increase.”
Santos said that, despite the guerrilla counter attacks, the armed forces “will continue [acting] with full force” and “hitting these groups where it hurts most.
Colombian guerrilla groups like the FARC and ELN have gradually stepped up hit-and-run attacks on Colombian armed forces since 2008 in response to a U.S-backed counter-insurgency offensive under Santos predecessor Alvaro Uribe that pushed the rebels away from economically important areas.