By Augustine Ehikioya
Following the recent National Security Council meeting, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) jets have carried out successful strikes on key terrorists’ enclaves and hideouts in the Northwest and Northeast geopolitical zones.
This happened about a week after the Service Chiefs, at the meeting, reassured President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians that there will be a change in strategy and momentum in the fight against insurgency and terrorism.
The Chief of the Air Staff also gave directive to Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operational and air component commanders to ‘show no mercy’ as they decimate terrorists and insurgents in the country.
Security Watch Africa (SWA) at the weekend gathered that key terrorist leaders and their cohorts were neutralized during the airstrikes in the areas.
“Positive results have started trickling in. One of such reports was received from the Northwest. After days of careful planning and coordination, the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI yesterday, 6 August, 2022, carried out successful strikes on key terrorists’ enclaves and hideouts located at Rugu Forest in Katsina State.
“Intelligence has since confirmed that the strikes have led to the elimination of one Alhaji Abdulkareem Lawal, aka Abdulkareem Boss. Abdulkareem Boss was a high valued target who has been on the radar of the Nigerian Military and other security agencies for a while.
“He was based in Marina area of Safana Local Government Area (LGA) and was responsible for several terrorists’ attacks, animal rustlings and kidnappings. He was known to regularly invite terrorists’ groups from other areas and regions to join him in attacks on targets.
“Specifically, he was part of the terrorist group that carried out attacks that eventually led to the death of the Nigerian Police Area Commander of Dutsin Ma on 5 July, 2022.
“Reports filtering in have since confirmed that Abdulkareem Boss was neutralized in the precision strike alongside 27 of his foot soldiers.
“Reports have also revealed that air strikes conducted by the Air Component of Operation HADIN KAI at Degbawa near Mandara Mountain in Gwoza LGA of Borno State on the 3 August, 2022 may have led to the death of a well-known terrorist kingpin, Alhaji Modu, aka Bem Bem, and some of his fighters.
“It was revealed that Alhaji Modu, a key ISWAP Commander had converged with others for a morning meeting on an intended attack before they were struck by an array of NAF assault aircraft.
“An assessment of the strike revealed that the entire location was levelled to the ground and sources have since revealed that no fewer than 20 terrorists were confirmed eliminated in the strike.”
Similar strikes were also conducted on terrorists’ hideouts around Abuja.
“Although, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance reports have since indicated that the terrorists fizzle out immediately after carrying out their nefarious acts, credible information have since revealed that threats within Abuja was being orchestrated by terrorists from their hideouts within Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara States.
“In view of this, NAF aircraft under Operation WHIRL PUNCH were dispatched to undertake intensive air interdiction operation to degrade/neutralize the terrorists within their identified hideouts in Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Kajuru and Chikun LGA in Kaduna State and Kusasu, Kwaki and Kukere LGA in Niger State.
“The operations were aimed at forestalling them from further planning to cause mayhem within Kaduna and Niger States as well as surroundings around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“So far, the identified locations hit by NAF aircraft include Jan Birni, Kusasu, Kauwuri, Kwaki, Ukambo Hill within the Kwiambana Forest as well as Alhaji Chorki Location.
“These locations have been attacked decisively and were struck in successive passes until they went into flames, some casualties who were spotted to be struggling to scamper for safety were effectively mopped up.
“The positive feedbacks received from ground troops deployed indicated that the terrorists have suffered heavy casualties and their logistics bases razed to the ground.”
It was gathered that the successes of the air strikes underscored NAF’s indefectible commitment to ridding the entire Northern region as well as the FCT of terrorism in collaboration with other security agencies and restoring peace and sanity.
“Operational commanders have also been told to sustain the momentum and ensure they minimize, to the barest minimum, the freedom of movement of terrorists and insurgents.”