In Renewed Onslaught, Scores of ISWAP Fighters Killed in Borno, Says NAF

Sadique Baba Abubakar

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja 

The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, yesterday charged personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to take the battle to terrorists and bandits in the northern part of the country as three fighter jets killed scores of fighters belonging to the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) in Kollaram, a settlement on the fringes of Lake Chad in Northern Borno State.

In his Eid-el-Kabir goodwill message, Air Marshal Sadique, ordered them to take the battle to the enemies of state by dealing with them decisively.

He urged them to be courageous and work in synergy with other security agencies to rid the country of threats to her security.

“Notwithstanding our modest gains, we must appreciate the enormity of the challenges ahead as we strive to consolidate and work with sister services and other stakeholders to rid our great nation of the threats to her security and development.

“Accordingly, as we go forward, I enjoin you all to redouble your efforts in dealing decisively with all enemies of the state while remaining professional in the discharge of your duties. You must be courageous and working in synergy with other security agencies, continue to take the battle to the armed bandits and terrorists, not minding their malicious propaganda.

“You must also remember, in the course of your duties, to always operate within the ambits of extant local and international laws, while showing compassion and respect for all law-abiding citizens”, he said. 

The NAF chief commended personnel for their heroic efforts so far in the war against terrorism, stating that there was need to evolve new strategies to contain terrorism and armed banditry.

“I, therefore, commend the Air Officers Commanding, Commanders and Supervisors, and indeed all NAF personnel, for your untiring efforts to ensure mission accomplishment. We must continue to evolve new ways of dealing with emerging issues in order to bring succour to our people in the areas affected by security challenges.

“We must also sustain and improve on the level of professionalism in the service through robust, job-focused training; commitment to improving personnel welfare as well as result-oriented Research and Development (R&D), which have all had a positive impact on our operational effectiveness. I must also appreciate our family members for their unquantifiable support and encouragement that have enabled us carry on with our constitutional responsibilities more effectively”, he said.

Abubakar further urged NAF personnel to discharge their duties, bearing in mind the sacrifices made by fallen colleagues.

“Fellow officers, Airmen and Airwomen, as we mark this festive season, which celebrates the spirit of sacrifice, we are afforded an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of our colleagues who have paid the supreme price in service to our fatherland. We remember them today as always and restate our commitment to cater for the needs of their loved ones and those they left behind. Let their memories and deeds spur us on to a higher level of dedication so that their sacrifices were not in vain,” he said.

Meanwhile, NAF said in a statement that the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole neutralised several Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters at multiple locations within Kollaram, a settlement on the fringes of Lake Chad in the Northern part of Borno State.

“The operation, which was conducted on August 9, 2019 as part of the ongoing Operation Green Sweep 3, targeted three compounds in the village, where Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports had earlier indicated that the ISWAP fighters were concentrated. 

“Consequently, following confirmatory Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, which showed significant presence of the terrorists in the designated areas, the ATF scrambled the Alpha Jet aircraft to attack the locations. The munitions of the Jets hit the desired points of impact of the targets causing damage to the buildings and neutralising dozens of the terrorists,” NAF Spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said, noting that “the NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the North-east”.