[Press Release] The preceding week has no doubt been eventful, especially for the air components of Operation Hadarin Daji (OPHD) in the Northwest and Operation Hadin Kai in Northeast Nigeria.
Alongside the Land Component and other security agencies, aircraft under these operational theatres have ensured that terrorist, insurgents and other criminal elements operating in the 2 regions do not constitute significant security threats to innocent citizens within the regions.
In the Northwest, the Air Component of OPHD on 1 November 2023, conducted series of successful airstrikes in Kankara Local Government Area (LGA) of Katsina State, targeting the hideout of a notorious terrorist kingpin, Babaru.
Babaru has been implicated in numerous acts of terrorism and banditry across Kankara and adjacent LGAs in Katsina State.
Notably, he was involved in the massacre of over 100 residents of Gidan Gari and Yarmai-Yadiya villages in Bakori LGA on February 2, 2023.
The airstrikes destroyed Babaru’s hideout and eliminated several terrorists, though there was no confirmation if Babaru was among those neutralized.
Air strikes were also carried out at the enclave of terrorist kingpin known as Mai Solar in Maru LGA of Zamfara State.
The air strikes took out clusters of enclaves used as hideouts by the kingpin and his cohorts at the location.
It was a successful strike as few survivors were observed fleeing the scene of the strike.
There is no confirmation if Mai Solar was among the terrorists eliminated.
Precision air strikes by the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) on 3 November 2023 also led to the elimination of several terrorists at their meeting point near Degbawa, a reclusive location within the Mandara Mountains in Goza Local Government Area of Borno State.
The air strikes were called for after intelligence revealed the sighting of some key terrorists’ figures and their foot soldiers arriving the location for a probable meeting.
Their gathering in large number raised concerns, thus necessitating the need for an air interdiction on the location with devastating outcome for the terrorists.
An assessment of the location after the strike revealed several terrorists were indeed eliminated.
According to several sources, the particular location was carefully chosen by the terrorists to evade being easily detected, especially by NAF aircraft.
The outcome of the strike, however, proved the terrorists wrong as their nefarious plans to meet were detected, thus leading to the success of the air strike.
The sources also noted that this strike was a major setback for the terrorists who have, of late, been at the receiving end of the air and land components of OPHK.
There were also strong indications that these terrorists were responsible for the recent attack on some locals in Geidam on 31 October 2023 and had planned to meet to review the attack as well as plan the next line of attack on innocent civilians and other vulnerable targets.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force
5 November 2023