The Nigerian military has said that, towards the end of last year, the Boko Haram terror group introduced new tactics involving highly experienced and skilled fighters and technology from ISIS elements apparently dislodged from Syria and relocated to the North East of the country.
This was disclosed by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who declared that helicopter gunships and other fighter jets recently acquired had been deployed to neutralise the insurgents in the North East as a result of fresh onslaught on soft targets.
“Our gallant fighter and helicopter gunship pilots are adapting creditably to these emerging nuances and making good progress, despite recent setbacks,” he declared as he rolled out the achievements of the service in the last one year.
According to him, there were remarkable improvements in the security situation as regards the war against Boko Haram since 2015 when he assumed leadership of the air force. He noted that, with the combined efforts of the armed forces, supported by other security agencies, territories controlled by the sect were liberated, while many erstwhile displaced persons were able to return to their ancestral homes.
He said: “In 2018, the NAF conducted several air raids in support of the Operation Lafiya Dole, which include Operation Ruwan Wuta III to IV, Operation Thunderstrike I and II as well as Operation Green Sweep.”
In the fight against banditry in the North West, Air Marshal Abubakar stated that the NAF deployed personnel along with air assets as part of the DHQ Operation Sharan Daji and also conducted dedicated air strikes against identified bandit locations, under the auspices of Operation Diran Mikiya.
He also said that the NAF deployed some Special Forces elements that are fighting side-by-side other services and security agencies in the various theatres of operation by regular provision of close air support, air interdiction, in-theatre liaison flights, medical evacuation and casualty evacuation as well as logistics re-supply of ammunition, water, food and medicine.