In a commanding and final putsch to annihilate Boko Haram terrorism in the North East, the Nigerian Airforce has deployed several high volume fighter aircraft while the Army has inducted recently acquired Artillery launchers in a full blown assault on the terrorists’ enclaves in Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad Basin area where scores of them have been smoked and roasted to out.
Towards this end, many senior and junior commanders of the terrorist group from the Al-Barnawi and the Mamman Nur factions in the Lake Chad area and the Shekau faction in the Sambisa general area have been killed in sustained air and heavy ground artillery bombardments.
Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, Director of NAF Public Relations, stated that the combined air and land assault on the recalcitrant terrorist commenced on the 3rd of January around the Sambisa area.
He said, “On 3 January 2018, the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole and its Nigerian Army (NA) counterparts commenced combined clearance operations of discovered Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) locations in the Sambisa general area.
“On the first day of the combined clearance operations, the Air Task Force conducted intensive bombardments on selected BHT locations, preparatory to the commencement of the operation.
“Previous Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions by Nigerian Air Force (NAF) platforms had revealed the presence of BHT in Njimia, in the Sambisa general area, from where the insurgents launched attacks on own surface forces.
“Accordingly, NAF fighter aircraft were detailed to attack the location and each of the aircraft took turns to attack structures occupied by BHT elements in the settlement.
“The air attacks set several BHT structures ablaze and destroyed them.
“On the same day, the Air Task Force conducted air interdiction on another BHT hideout near Camp Zairo.
“Previous ISR on the location had indicated the resurgence of BHT activities in the location, which had been previously liberated.
“Accordingly, structures occupied by BHT elements in the location were attacked, in succession, by NAF fighter aircraft.
“The air strikes caused the destruction of more BHT structures and the neutralization of several insurgents. Some insurgents were sighted fleeing the area and they were taken out in subsequent follow-up attacks.
“Later in the evening of the same day, the Air Task Force scrambled 2 fighter aircraft and one helicopter to support own surface forces that had come under BHT attack at Tokombere, 12km southwest of Camp Zairo.
“The NAF aircraft supported the troops in repelling the attack, causing the insurgents to withdraw to the northeast of Tokombere.
“Consequently, at about 11pm, the Air Task Force detailed another helicopter to conduct air interdiction on the insurgents’ new location.
“The Battle Damage Assessment from a NAF ISR platform indicated that the helicopter successfully dropped its weapons on the insurgents’ position, killing many and causing some survivors to flee.
“Therefore, the ISR platform tracked the fleeing insurgents to another location and later coordinated the NA artillery bombardment of the insurgents’ new location.
“Several rockets were launched from the Nigerian Army’s Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher, most of which landed on the insurgents, killing some of them and causing a few survivors to flee in disarray.
“The ongoing combined clearance operations by NAF and NA elements are aimed at preventing the full-scale resurgence of BHT in the Sambisa general area.
Shedding more light on the combined assault on terrorists hideouts in the Lake Chad area, Col Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole said, “Troops of operation Lafiya Dole have continued the onslaught on Boko Haram terrorist’s enclaves in the Lake Chad region where a factional leader of the group Mamman Nur has suffered grave injury, while one of his wives has been killed in the battle.
“Also about 250 foot soldiers from the Albarnawy camp have surrendered to Nigerien Authorities due to the devastating artillery and aerial bombardments by Operation Lafiya Dole troops.
“Many of the insurgents who fled the onslaught are now taking advantage of the “Amnesty” offered by the Nigerien government by surrendering to Nigerien Forces.
“Among the insurgents fleeing from the ongoing offensive are senior and junior commanders in the Albarnawy faction who are now attempting to melt into other communities in and around Kano, Geidam and Gashua axis unnoticed.
“One of such fleeing commanders is Bana Bafui.
“Members of the general public, particularly in Kano, Geidam, Gashua, Hadeja and the northern part of Jigawa are therefore enjoined to be vigilant and watch out for strange faces suddenly appearing in their communities and promptly report same to security agencies.
“Additionally, about 700 insurgents have also surrendered to troops in the general area of Monguno following troops’ clearance operations. The ongoing onslaught will be tenaciously sustained.
Col Nwachukwu recalled that the Federal Government has since provided a window of opportunity through the Operation ‘Safe Corridor’ program to insurgents who surrender willingly to be de-radicalized and rehabilitated.
“About 300 insurgents who willingly surrendered are currently benefiting from this programme” he said.
He continued, “We call on all Boko Haram insurgents to abandon the futile struggle and take advantage of the Safe Corridor program by surrendering willingly to troops in any location nearest to them.
“We guarantee their safety and incorporation into the programme for de-radicalization and rehabilitation.”
Also, Nigerian troops in the ongoing Operation DEEP PUNCH II have recorded tremendous successes in clearance operations against the terrorists.
“On Friday night, 5th January 2018, the gallant troops dealt decisive blow on the Boko Haram terrorists by inflicting heavy casualty on them and capturing the following high caliber weapons and equipment from the Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa Forest.
They include Mounted Gun-truck, High Caliber AK 47 rifles, and several already prepared IEDS and logistics materials.