•Says transfer of fighters, sophisticated weapons emboldened terrorists  Senator Iroegbu  The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has noted that the defeat of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) worsened the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria as well as across West African sub-region. Abubakar made this remarks on December…

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Says transfer of fighters, sophisticated weapons emboldened terrorists 

Senator Iroegbu 

The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has noted that the defeat of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) worsened the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria as well as across West African sub-region.

Abubakar made this remarks on December 3,  2018, when the Director of the United States Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation (AFSAC) Directorate, Brig-Gen  Sean Farrell, led the representatives of the US Department of Defence (US DoD) for a meeting at the Headquarters Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in Abuja. The meeting was to discuss further on the delivery of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria.

Th Air Force Chief in a statement on Saturday by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, stressed that the Boko Haram menace was not a local problem but a global one.

He warned that the consequences of not adequately dealing with the threat would not only impact on Nigeria and the West African Sub-Region but also on other parts of Africa and the rest of the world.

Boko Haram terrorists including the Abubakar Shekau led group and the Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) splinter cell have been on rampage in recent months attacking both civilians as well as military bases. The worst attacks was when the terrorists managed to overran a Nigerian Army military base of 157 Battalion in Metele,  Borno State, North East Nigeria, killing over 100  people, mostly soldiers.

This, Air Chief Abubakar noted, underscored the need for international collaboration and cooperation to adequately and decisively deal with the threat.

According to him,  “the defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq has had the unfortunate effect of exacerbating the problem in Nigeria with transfer of fighters and equipment into and around the West African Sub-Region, thereby emboldening the terrorist group who now have more sophisticated weapons and equipment”.

He stressed that the induction of the A-29 would, greatly enhance NAF’s capability to more effectively prosecute the war against insurgency in the Northeast.

To this end,  urged the AFSAC team to do all within its power to ensure that at least two of the aircraft are delivered to Nigeria even before the new delivery date of 2021.

The CAS also used the opportunity to thank Nigeria’s  President Muhammadu Buhari, and the National Assembly for granting the approvals that had enabled the acquisition of the 12 aircraft.

Responding, Gen. Farrell expressed the readiness of his team to complete the execution of the contract in record time.

He also noting that the visit to the Base would provide the team with firsthand knowledge of the construction site as well as help avoid delays in schedule and risks in the future.

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Source:Global Sentinel