Air Strikes Kill 30 Insurgents as NAF Launches Operation Rattle Snake in North-east

General Olonisakin
  • CDS pledges judicious use of military budget

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Fighter jets of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) wednesday bombarded terrorist locations, killing 30 insurgents in Borno State.

This was coming as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, pledged the judicious use of military budget.

The air strikes targeted tactical headquarters of the insurgents in Parisu and Garin Maloma located on the fringes of Sambisa Forest.

The air interdiction followed intelligence report that revealed the location of the terrorists.

An update on the ongoing war against insurgency issued by the NAF said many terrorists were decimated during the attack.

“The Nigerian Air Force, through the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole, has launched Operation Rattle Snake against terrorists’ elements in the North-east of the country.

“The air interdiction operation, which commenced yesterday, 10 December 2019, will target selected locations within the North-east in order to further degrade the remnants of the terrorists as well as deny them safe havens and freedom of action”, it said.

The statement said on the day one of the operation “air strikes by NAF aircraft resulted in the neutralisation of several Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) and destruction of some of their structures at their tactical headquarters in Parisu as well as another settlement, Garin Maloma, both on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State.” The statement issued by NAF Spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said “the attacks were executed following series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions that showed the presence of a significant number of BHT fighters in makeshift structures/buildings under trees spread across the two settlements.

“Overhead Parisu, no fewer than 30 terrorists were observed by the ISR aircraft in different parts of the settlement.”

Daramola said “the attack aircraft dispatched by the ATF to engage the location recorded accurate hits within the target area, leading to the destruction of some of the structures as well as the killing of several terrorists.

“Other fighters, who attempted to flee while putting up a fight, were taken out by follow on strikes at their hiding places under some trees as well as along the river line at the edge of the settlement.”

He said an attack conducted earlier in the day at Garin Maloma similarly resulted in the neutralisation of several Boko Haram fighters.

Daramola noted that the NAF would sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the North-east.

Meanwhile, the CDS, General Olonisakin has pledged to ensure judicious use of the military budget.

He spoke while receiving the House of Representatives Committee on Defence at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.

Olonisakin, in a statement, “assured that budgetary allocations to the Defence Headquarters will be prudently and judiciously utilised on administrative and operational commitments.”

In his remarks, Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Hon. Jimi Benson, commended the recent technological innovation launched by the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the production of military hardwares, particularly the Mine Resistant Anti Ambush Vehicle (MRAP), which he described as a welcome development and a plus for the federal government local content drive.

He added that these technological innovations emanating from various establishments of the AFN, including the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), Defence Space Administration as well as the Defence Research and Development Bureau have potentially increased the operational capabilities of the AFN.