NAF airstrikes neutralise scores of terrorists in Kaduna, Kastina

The Nigerian Airforce (NAF) Tuesday says air strikes by the Air Component of Operation Whirl Punch on terrorists’ enclave in Giwa Local Government of Kaduna state have yielded the requisite outcome.

A statement by NAF spokesperson Air Vice Marshal Edward Gabkwet disclosed that the strikes, carried out between 30-31 May 2024, were executed at the stronghold of the infamous terrorist, Buharinyadi.

He said the strikes were prompted by painstaking Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (IRS) operations conducted in the targeted vicinity where several clusters of thatched roofed huts within compounds were observed amid thick vegetations.

“The surveillance also confirmed a substantial presence of armed terrorists loitering around the huts and over 13 motorcycles seen tucked under a large umbrella tree.

“Additionally, a targeted exploitation of multiple sources revealed that the terrorists at the location were responsible for most of the attacks and kidnappings in several communities within Birnin Gwari Igabi and Giwa LGAs.
“Accordingly, the Air Component dispatched its available air assets to strike the location.

“Overhead the location, scores of the terrorists were sighted and subsequently struck, bringing effective and maximum damage on the targets and their equipment,” he said.

He disclosed that following a tip that some of the surviving terrorists had relocated 500 meters west of the interdicted location, a follow up strike was immediately conducted, with a post-strike Battle Damage Assessment revealing the neutralization of several terrorists and their hideouts engulfed in flames.

He said a similar air strikes were also carried out by the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji in Northwest on 2 June 2024 after intelligence revealed the location of terrorists’ kingpin Alhaji Iliya and his cohorts at Zango Hill in Kankara LGA of Katsina state.

He noted that the location was also observed to be having a cluster of huts and zinc roofed structures with multiple human and livestock movements.

“Accordingly, air interdiction was authourized and conducted over the location to decimate the terrorists and destroy their weapons and mobility.
“After the strike, Battle Damage Assessment footages and feedback received revealed that the strikes were successful as several terrorists were eliminated and their structures engulfed in flames, ” he said.

He said the NAF, in collaboration with surface forces, will continue to sustain domination of the battlespace through extensive situational awareness, constant patrols, and targeted interdiction of terrorists’ safe havens within its various Areas of Responsibility.

Still, a whole of society approach remains a key factor in the ongoing efforts to minimize the threats posed by criminal elements.