Aircraft from the Nigerien and Nigerian air forces have carried out air strikes against Boko Haram positions in a joint operation.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on 10 April said the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole, in a combined operation with the Nigerien Air Force, on 8 April 2018, launched a coordinated air strike on Boko Haram locations at Arege and Tumbun Rago in Borno State. “The successful attacks followed reports received sequel to an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission conducted by an aircraft belonging to Nigerien Air Force…Consequently, the ATF detailed Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet and F-7Ni aircraft to conduct air interdiction strikes on the locations while the ISR aircraft from Niger provided necessary support and also conducted battle damage assessment (BDA).
“The subsequent BDA revealed that during the first wave of attacks at Arege, several vehicles belonging to Boko Haram terrorists were totally destroyed, killing all the occupants in the process. Furthermore, the NAF fighter aircraft neutralized fleeing Boko Haram terrorists in subsequent waves of attack. Thereafter, NAF fighter aircraft and the ISR aircraft from Niger again combined to successfully attack Boko Haram locations at Tumbum Rago.”
After the joint operation, the Nigerian Air Force announced that in the night of 13 April, it successfully destroyed some Boko Haram vehicles at a location, about 12km East of Arege, in the Lake Chad Region. Earlier on, a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft had discovered BHT activities, with some vehicles mounted with guns, moving within the location.
“Accordingly, the ATF detailed NAF Mi-35M Helicopter gunships to conduct air interdiction strikes to take out the targets. Overhead the location, the attack platform acquired, interdicted and neutralised the targets with rockets and cannons. The subsequent Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) revealed that at the end of the attack, a Boko Haram gun truck, with its entire occupants, was completely destroyed and engulfed in fire. Another vehicle was damaged and immobilised as a result of the attack while several terrorists were killed in the process. The NAF continues to provide adequate air support, through the ATF of Operation Lafiya Dole, by conducting a range of air operations to create the necessary environment for ground operations to continue apace.”