Hundreds of troops from the militaries of Chad and Niger have just been unleashed and are now on the ground in northeastern Nigeria to launch a major attack against Boko Haram. They are making an offensive attack against the jihadists on right on the Nigeria-Niger border.
According to a very recent report, The “United States, Britain, France and the European Union are backing the formation of a multinational force of 8,750 troops led by Nigeria and Chad with contingents from Cameroon, Niger and Benin.”
This attack has just been executed right after Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS, which must have compelled the Nigerians to intensify their war against the terrorist group. One military official said:
“Early this morning, troops from Niger and Chad launched ground and air raids against Boko Haram into Nigeria, and the operation is still continuing… It is an intensive operation that is aimed at pulverizing Boko Haram and crippling their capability
French media has already reported on the attack:
Ari Boubakarna, a local resident who is right in the middle of the fighting, said:
Around 6 a.m., soldiers from Niger and Chad in huge numbers confronted Boko Haram around the Doutchi area outside Diffa and later crossed the bridge into Nigeria… We heard huge explosions from artillery fire and fighter jets, but the explosions receded as the troops moved further into Nigeria
A journalist who lives in the area recounted:
They left in a huge convoy of over 200 vehicles, some of them fitted with machine guns, including armored tanks, ambulances, water tankers and cargo trucks, which indicate they were going for a prolonged operation
Local Nigerians came out to provide water and tea to the soldiers as they were leaving the area of Diffa, and the soldiers promised that they would capture Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram.
Another body of Nigerian fighters, who are being supported supported by air support, left to attack Boko Haram from the town of Bosso, Niger. Bosso resident Tandja Moumouni said”
Soldiers in large numbers crossed into Nigeria this morning, and we could hear thunderous sounds of gunfire and explosions coming from the direction of Malam Fatori
A source from the government of Niger told a Nigerian source:
Very early this morning, troops from Niger and Chad began an offensive against Boko Haram in the area of Bosso and near Diffa
Here is another news video on the joint attack done by the Chad-Niger military partnership:
According to a Nigerian radio station, Asfani, “More than 200 vehicles, some of them with machine guns, as well as tanks, ambulances, water tankers and transport trucks, were seen moving towards the border” of Niger.
Just this Saturday and Sunday Nigerian air force fighters launched attacks on key Boko Haram positions. Major General Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information, said:
The mission of routing the terrorists from Nigeria’s territory is being conducted from various fronts in and out of Nigeria and is achieving expected results so far
The general also a very recent report:” target=”_blank”>added:
there were some pre-emptive manoeuvre along an axis in the theatre. Nigerian forces were also involved.
Chad, backed by its air force, has already sent troops many kilometers inside northeastern Nigeria, winning back areas from the Sunni jihadist group near the Cameroon border.
“We can confirm that Chadian and Nigerien forces launched an offensive this morning from Niger. The offensive is underway,” said Colonel Azem Bermandoa, spokesman for Chad’s army.
One of the Niger sources said Abuja had given the green light for the operation.
Chris Olukolade, spokesman for Nigeria’s defense headquarters, said in a statement “there were some preemptive maneuvers along an axis in the theater. Nigerian forces were also involved.”
A witness in Niger’s southeastern town of Diffa said he saw at least 300 vehicles, including army jeeps with heavy weapons as well as water and fuel trucks, leaving barracks overnight and heading to the border.
Niger military sources reported fighting near the border river of Komadugu, adding the plan was to head south towards the Nigeria towns of Damasak and Malam Fatori.
The African Union agreed to set up a regional force to combat the group in late January and is pushing for a U.N. Security Council mandate for the operation.
Nigeria and the other African nations involved better destroy Boko Haram before it causes enough destabilization in the region to provoke a civil war, or an Islamic takeover as the Muslims did in Somalia or Egypt.