The Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole has launched an attack on members of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters on the fringes of Lake Chad.
A statement by NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, on Wednesday said troops destroyed terrorists’ structures and logistics facilities at Tumbun Kaiyowa in Northern part of Borno State.
He saidthe attack was successful following confirmation by a NAF platform which showed activities of insurgents under dense vegetation within the location.
“The sustained air offensive against remnants of Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters on the fringes of Lake Chad has yielded additional results as the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE, today, 5 June 2019, destroyed terrorists’ structures and logistics facilities at Tumbun Kaiyowa in Northern Borno State,” the statement said.
Daramola explained that the operation was executed following confirmation by a NAF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform that some terrorists were harboured, along with their logistics items and facilities, in some structures well-camouflaged under dense vegetation within the location.
Accordingly, he said the ATF scrambled two Alpha Jet aircraft to attack the location, recording direct hits on the structures and logistics facilities, which were seen engulfed in flames.
“Several ISWAP fighters were equally neutralised as a result of the strikes,” the statement added.
The NAF spokesman said air troops alongside surface forces would sustain efforts to completely degrade the terrorists in the North East.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it has degraded an Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists’ hideout and killed some of their fighters at Tumbun Zarami in the northern part of Borno State.
A statement by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, disclosed that the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole recorded the feat on Monday.
It explained that the troops conducted air strikes, as part of the ongoing air campaign of Operation Yancin Tafki aimed at flushing out ISWAP elements from islands on the fringes of the Lake Chad.
The statement revealed, “A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform, on a routine reconnaissance mission, observed significant presence of ISWAP fighters in the settlement, with several structures and equipment spotted beneath the thick vegetation of the area.
“Accordingly, the ATF scrambled two NAF Alpha Jets to attack the location, recording successful strikes on the terrorists’ structures and neutralising several of their fighters.”
NAF attached a short video clip to the statement, showing some portions of the attack.
Operating in concert with surface forces, the Air Force vowed to sustain its operations to completely degrade the terrorists in the north-east region.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says one of its fighter jets has attacked a gathering of Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists in the Tumbun Sale and Tumbun Allura areas of Lake Chad in Borno State, killing ‘scores’ of the insurgents.
NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola said on Monday that the operation was carried out by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole.
Ibikunle noted that the operation took place on Friday on the heels of intelligence reports indicating the presence of ISWAP fighters along with “some vehicles and logistics support items well camouflaged under the dense vegetation within the settlements”.
He said a NAF Alpha Jet, supported by an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform, was dispatched to raid the terrorists’ hideouts in successive strikes resulting in damage to several structures as well as the destruction of one of the terrorists’ vehicles, which was seen in flames.
“The NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the Northeast,” he assured.
The Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has destroyed some Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) gun trucks in air strikes conducted near Damasak in Northern Borno State.
According to a statement by the Nigeria Air Force, NAF, the attacks were executed yesterday, 5 January 2019, whilst providing close air support for ground troops at Damasak who were in pursuit of the terrorists who had attempted to breach their location.
The NAF Mi-35M Helicopter Gunship engaged the group of terrorists’ gun trucks in successive waves of attacks as they retreated, destroying and immobilizing 3 of them while causing significant damage to others and neutralizing several terrorists.
Similarly, a building used as a meeting venue for Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP, has been destroyed by the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
According to a spokesman for the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the attack was carried out after “series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions confirmed that the building was being used as an assembly point by the terrorists”.
Air Commodore Ibikunle said in a statement on Wednesday that the ATF “consequently dispatched a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet aircraft to attack the building”.
He said a direct hit was recorded on the target leading to significant damage to the structure and neutralization of the occupants.
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep shock over the killing of military personnel in Metele village of Borno State by Boko Haram terrorists.
The President said immediate measures are being taken to ensure that the loopholes which led to the fatalities are blocked once and for all and vowed that the country would overcome the Boko Haram insurgency.
President Buhari’s reaction to the attack which reportedly left many soldiers dead was contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity on Saturday, six days after the deadly attack.
“No responsible Commander-in-Chief would rest on his oars or fold his hands to allow terrorists to endanger the lives of its military personnel and other citizens,” the President was quoted as saying.
“Our loyal forces have proved their strength over the terrorists and we are ready to give them all the needed support in terms of equipment and manpower to succeed in ending the renewed threat.
“In the coming days, I am engaging the Military and Intelligence Chiefs in extensive discussions on the next steps we shall be taking.”
The President noted that fighting terrorism has taken a global dimension, which necessitates international collaboration among states facing similar security challenges.
He also said his administration remained committed and focused on the security of military personnel and other citizens.
President Buhari reassured Nigerians of his continued commitment to their security and of his efforts to sustain the momentum in the previous significant successes recorded against the terrorists.
He, however, advised Nigerians against making a political capital out of national tragedy, stressing that members of the armed forces are one family committed to the security and safety of all Nigerians.
The Nigerian Army has confirmed that there was an attack on soldiers in Metele, Borno State.
The Army, which confirmed the attack in a statement on its official Twitter handle on Friday night, however, described the casualty figures as false and “various footages” in circulation as “old and inaccurate BHT (Boko Haram Terrorist) propaganda videos.
News agency AFP had quoted military sources as saying that the IS-backed Boko Haram faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province killed 43 soldiers in attacks on military bases in the remote village in Borno State, near Nigeria’s border with Niger Republic.
The Army, however, called for caution in its statement, warning that Boko Harm were circulating propaganda material.
“Whilst it is understandable how such misinformation can be spread in this era of social media frenzy, the spurious circulation of some of these videos only contribute to further propagate the propaganda intent of the terrorists; to misinform the populace and portray themselves as what they are not.
“So far, the situation is that the location is under control as reinforcing units have been able to repel the terrorists and stabilise the situation.”
The army did not, however, give details of the casualty figure it had.
Read the full statement below:
The Attention of the NA has been drawn to several social media, print, electronic and online publications about the recent attack on 157 Task Force Battalion at Metele. Whilst It is true that there was an attack on the location on 18 November 2018, it has, however, become necessary to correct several misinformation being circulated with regards to this unfortunate event.
It is important for the public to note that the NA has laid down procedures for reporting incidents that involve its personnel who fall casualty in action. Out of respect for the families of our gallant troops, the NOKs are first notified before any form of public information so as to avoid exacerbating the grief family members would bear were they to discover such from unofficial sources.
Furthermore, it suffices to observe that several social media, print and online publications have been brandishing false casualty figures as well as circulating various footages of old and inaccurate BHT propaganda videos and alluding same to be the attack on 157 Task Force Battalion. Whilst it is understandable how such misinformation can be spread in this era of social media frenzy, the spurious circulation of some of these videos only contribute to further propagate the propaganda intent of the terrorists; to misinform the populace and portray themselves as what they are not. So far, the situation is that the location is under control as reinforcing units have been able to repel the terrorists and stabilize the situation.
The NA sincerely wishes to thank the various arms of government, MDAs and sister agencies that have stood with her in these trying times; by commiserating with the families of the fallen heroes who have paid the supreme price for the defence of our dearly beloved country. The necessary support is given the NA by the Federal Government and the goodwill of the Nigerian populace will undoubtedly continue to spur the NA towards the ultimate defeat of highly degraded BHTs.
The Islamic State group has claimed to have killed 118 people in its self-styled West Africa province in the last week, after a series of attacks against military bases in northeast Nigeria that have raised fears of a resurgent Boko Haram.
The Islamist militant group said in a video posted online late on Thursday that it conducted five operations in Chad and Nigeria between November 15 and 21, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activity.
No other details were given but the claim follows recent attacks on army bases in Borno state, northeast Nigeria, which has been the epicentre of the deadly nine-year conflict.
Security sources said at least 44 soldiers were killed in an attack in Metele village, near the border with Niger, on Sunday, although one soldier who escaped gave a higher toll.
“The truth is we lost more than 100 men because we were quickly routed,” he said on condition of anonymity from the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, on Friday.
“We were outgunned, so we tried to fight. We realised it was unrealistic so we decided to leave.”
Most of the soldiers were killed as the trucks they were in tried to crash through a perimeter fence at the base but got stuck. Senior officers were among the dead, he added.
Even a search team that came to find the bodies of fallen soldiers on Tuesday was attacked, the soldier said.
On Friday night, the Nigerian Army confirmed that there was an attack on Metele on November 18, but described the casualty figures being reported as false and “various footages” in circulation as “old and inaccurate BHT (Boko Haram Terrorist) propaganda videos.
“While it is understandable how such misinformation can be spread in this era of social media frenzy, the spurious circulation of some of these videos only contribute to further propagate the propaganda intent of the terrorists; to misinform the populace and portray themselves as what they are not,” the Army said in a statement on its official Twitter Handle.
“So far, the situation is that the location is under control as reinforcing units have been able to repel the terrorists and stabilize the situation.”
The army, however, did not provide details of the casualty figures.
PRESS RELEASE ON THE ATTACK ON 157 TASK FORCE BATTALION DEFENSIVE LOCATION AT METELE IN GUZAMALA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF BORNO STATE
AFP has reported at least 17 attempts to overrun army bases since July. Many have been claimed by the IS-backed Boko Haram faction, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Security analysts said more attacks were expected in the run-up to February 16, when Nigerians go to the polls to elect a new president and parliament.
But Yan St-Pierre, a counter-terrorism specialist with the Modern Security Consulting Group, said there were implications beyond Nigeria’s borders.
The intensity and regularity of recent attacks indicated ISWAP now had “a capacity for sustained warfare” and “a significant number of fighters and materials” at its disposal.
Asked whether that meant external support from IS remnants from elsewhere, he told AFP: “Without a doubt.”
He added: “ISWAP’s attacks occur against military and foreign targets with increasing frequency in Nigeria, Chad, and Niger, with an increasing presence in Cameroon.”
That “not only demonstrates that ISWAP has the capacity and the mobility to successfully organise attacks in multiple areas but that its interests are fully regional”, he said.
“Put in the context of expanding IS activity in the Sahel — especially eastwards — this regional focus is an important change that affects ISWAP military operations.”
More than 27,000 people have been killed since the insurgency began in 2009 and some 1.8 million are still homeless, as aid agencies battle the humanitarian fall-out of the fighting.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was elected in 2015 on a pledge to defeat Boko Haram, has claimed the jihadists were “technically defeated”.
The recent attacks have cast doubt on that assertion and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is questioning Buhari’s security record.
PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar sent a condolence message to the families of those who were killed and said the losses were “a clear sign that our troops need to be better funded and better equipped”.
Soldiers have complained of being over-stretched and under-resourced.
Senate leader Bukola Saraki said a delegation of senators would travel to the northeast to visit frontline troops, as others questioned the effectiveness of the counter-insurgency.
Peter Ayodele Fayose, a former state governor and leading PDP figure, added: “It is time that we face the reality that Boko Haram is not technically defeated.”
Amaechi Nwokolo, a security analyst at the Roman Institute of Security Studies in Abuja, said the insurgency had become politicised.
“Now, as election season and Christmas approach, we are likely to see an upsurge in attacks. These terrorists are not dumb. They will certainly want to create chaos around the election.”
Political analyst Chris Ngwodo said the PDP would likely want to make capital out of the current situation but added it had not translated into a loss of support for Buhari or the APC.
“I can’t see that these attacks have shifted public opinion here,” he said from Maiduguri. “Borno still feels like Buhari territory.
“The opposition will look for chinks in the armour of the ruling party but I don’t know if they can generate the kind of traction from these kinds of incidents.”