The enclave of the leader of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP), Fiya Ba Yuram in Sambisa forest has come under heavy bombardment from Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets.
Yuram reportedly succeeded the late Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau who was killed by rival terror group. After taking over the leadership of the Boko Haram sect, Yuram switched allegiance to ISWAP.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet said the strikes were carried out on some specific targets in the Tunbuns and Sambisa with varying degrees of successes recorded, adding that “the NAF won’t however be drawn into the details of those neutralised”.
A military source confided in The Nation: “The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued to synergize and pull their resources together towards ensuring that terrorists, insurgents and other criminal elements are completely eliminated for the sake of peace and security of the nation.
“Acting on credible and actionable intelligence, NAF aircraft were directed to an active location in Sambisa Forest believed to be the enclave of notorious terrorist, Fiya Ba Yuram. Fiya Ba Yuram is the current ISWAP leader of Sambisa Forest who took over the leadership following the demise of Abubakar Shekau.
“Please note that the title of Fiya connotes the most senior position in the terrorist’s military leadership structure. Note also that Yuram was an ally of Shekau until his demise after which he switched allegiance to ISWAP”.
The source added: “On arrival, the location was observed to be active with terrorists seen gathering. Air strikes were then authorized and carried out on the location. An assessment of the location after the strikes revealed it to be successful, though it remained unconfirmed if Fiya Ba Yuram was among the terrorists neutralised in the strikes.
“Similar air strikes were also undertaken in the Tunbuns near Lake Chad after suspected terrorists’ activities were observed in the area believed to be a training camp. The targets were subsequently acquired and engulfed in flames all after. The aftermath of the airstrike revealed that pandemonium broke out as the remnant of surviving terrorists took cover under nearby trees which were later struck by the aircraft.
“Even though it remained uncertain and unclear if Fiya Ba Yuram was among the terrorists neutralized in the weekend strikes, the efforts of military must be commended.
“The ability of the AFN and other security agencies to pick out key terrorist targets for elimination, alongside their foot soldiers is also indicative of the credibility of the intelligence provided. The need, therefore, for all Nigerians to rally round and support the AFN and other security agencies remains a key motivator towards reducing, to the barest minimum, the threats posed by the activities of terrorists and insurgents”.