Situation North East (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States)

07 October

Troops from Sector 3, Op Lafiya Dole, supported by CJTF Vigilantes conducted patrols in the vicinity of MAIRARI, GUZAMALA LGA, BORNO State, engaging the enemy, inflicting unspecified casualties and capturing 1 x AK 47, 4 x magazines, 1 x Type 36 HE Grenade, 13 x 7.62mm (AK) rounds. 1 x CJTF volunteer was wounded

08 October

Suspected ISWAP gunmen attacked 157 Bn positions, in METELE, ABADAM LGA near KANGARWA, BORNO State, around 4.30pm, overrunning the base around 11.30pm killing 18  and wounding 8 (friendly forces claim 7 were killed and 16 wounded and 76 enemy killed). The enemy was repelled with friendly reinforcements from KANGARWA and AREGE after looting the base and destroying 2 x T 72, 2 x APCs, 2 x gun trucks  and other equipment. 151 soldiers and 6 officers are allegedly missing, social media accounts claim 5 soldiers were captured.

The ADAMAWA State Police Commissioner CP Abdullahi YERIMA has announced the withdrawal of all NPF personnel attached to political parties and politicians in the state due to a shortage of manpower

09 October

Following human intelligence of suspected enemy vehicles in the vicinity of MATARI Village, GUZAMALA LGA, BORNO State along the METELE-KANGARWA-TUMBUN REGO Axis, confirmed by NAF ISR, an NAF Alphajet attacked and destroyed the vehicle

20 Policemen from 4 Divisions in ADAMAWA State completed an EU/ British Council course on rape and gender based violence

10 October

Elements of 22 Bde from DIKWA, DIKWA LGA, BORNO State conducted a fighting patrol to KALTUNBARE, DIKWA LGA, BORNO State infiltrating an enemy camp, killing 3 enemy and rescuing 2 children

11 October

Following human intelligence, NAF ISR confirmed the presence of a suspected enemy training facility , hidden under vegetation in the vicinity of MALKONORY, ABADAM LGA, BORNO State, sighting adult males, structures, trenches and dummies, NAF Alphajet conducted several waves of air strikes, destroying the target

Elements of 112 TF Bn conducted a fighting patrol in the vicinity of  BALE Junction and AJIRI,  DAMBOA LGA, BORNO State engaging suspected enemy killing 2 capturing 1 x bicycle, clothing and foodstuffs.

12 October

A delegation from the Federal Government led by Minister of Information Lai MOHAMMED, visited MAIDUGURI, BORNO State visiting the families of the 3 medical staff abducted by Boko Haram ISWAP in RANN. Accompanied by the Minister for Trade and Industry (also Women Affairs) Hajiya Aisha ABUBAKAR and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hajiya Khadija Bukar Abba IBRAHIM. They then flew by helicopter to DAPCHI, YOBE State to visit Mrs Rebecca SHARIBU, the mother of Leah SHARIBU

The CJTF separated 833 children from its ranks under the auspices of the UN at a ceremony in MAIDUGURI, BORNO State. 1,175 boys and 294 girls had been indentified in MAIDUGURI alone. The CJTF signed an agreement with UNICEF to end recruitment of children in September 2017

Gunmen mounted in pick up trucks attacked 118Bn positions in AREGE,  MOBBAR LGA, BORNO State around 5.00pm, enemy was repelled losing  3 x gun trucks destroyed, 1 x gun truck, 3 x AAA guns, 2 x AK 47, 1 x RPG round and several mortar bombs captured. 6 soldiers were reported wounded

The UN OCHA conducted a 2 day Civil Military Coordination Workshop for officers of 7 Div in MAIDUGURI, BORNO State

13 October

Troops on foot patrol in the vicinity of KUMSHE, BAMA LGA, BORNO State detonated an IED, suffering 2 killed and 9 soldiers and 3 CJTF vigilantes wounded

A Nigerian vehicle patrol detonated an IED between DIKWA and MARTE, MARTE LGA, BORNO State wounding 9 soldiers and 3 CJTF vigilantes

Situation North Centre (Abuja FCT, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba States)

08 October

A truck containing 52 allegedly stolen cows was intercepted in NYABAI Village, LAU LGA, TARABA State. They were allegedly stolen locally

09 October

The PLATEAU State Commissioner of Police CP Undie ADIE was replaced with CP Austin AGBONLAHOR by the IGP with immediate effect.

Suspected armed robbers  attempted to rob a man of his motorcycle AMAAFU Road, LOGO LGA, BENUE State, shooting him in the head. NPF responded arresting one suspect and recovering a firearm

Gunmen in a Red VW Golf abducted a young woman Hafsat GAMBO from her family home in CORNER SOJA District, JOS, JOS NORTH LGA, PLATEAU State around 7.50pm, killing a soldier who responded to the alarm raised as they made their escape

10 October

Gunmen reportedly attacked the Ebira village of MOZUM, BASSA LGA, KOGI State from Bassa Village of KETECHI Village, 5km south east around 4.00pm. Local vigilantes reportedly defeated the attackers and pursued them back to KETECHI burning the village. Another attack with youths recruited from nearby ECHUKWU, ODENYI and OBUBILI was launched and allegedly defeated. 17 people were reported killed. Peoples from KETECHI, OJOH and other loval areas had been displaced to Police HQ at OGUMA

11 October

The Justice Josiah MAJEBI led Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the 2016 Civil Disturbances in OMALA, BASSA and DEKINA LGA’s KOGI State presented its official report to the KOGI State Governor Yahaya BELLO. The report stated that the clashes in OGANE-NIGWU, IYADEM OJUWO, AJIMADI, AGBENEMA-IFE and AGBAIFOR in DEKINA and OMALA LGA’S had been farmer/ herdsmen, whilst the clashes in OROKWO and OROKWO BUSE in BASSA LGA had been between Igala  and Bassa-Kwomu tribes. 44 people had been killed and 26 wounded and 115 people identified as being responsible for the violence.

A peaceful protest turned violent as youths burnt down 4 properties in LANGTANG SOUTH LGA, PLATEAU State over the conduct of the elections held on Wednesday 10 October, alleging that the results were not declared at the Local Government collation centre. The youths burnt down the house of  2 local politicians, the Electoral Conducting Officer and the Local Government Chamber

12 October

The NSCDC arrested 3 suspected electricity transformer vandals in the Federal Low Cost Housing Estate, SULEJA, SULEJA LGA, NIGER State

KOGI State Police Command stated they had arrested 16 suspected kidnappers in ANKPA, ANKPA LGA, on suspicion of abducting for murder and using the body parts for rituals. They recovered 1 x pump action shotgun, 2 x locally made single barrel weapons and 3 x axes. The accused (aged 16-45) were local vigilantes, gang leader Yakubu HAMIDU was ANKPA Vigilante Commander, the suspects claimed to be sponsored by a former KOGI State House of Assembly member Abdulahi Ibrahim ALI (aka HALIMS) and local businessman Alhaji Shaibu ADAMU (aka AYE MARINA) and had thus far confessed to 6 murders

Commander Op Safe Haven Maj Gen Augustine AGUNDU held a meeting of traditional rulers in the Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace (DREP) Centre, JOS, JOS SOUTH LGA, PLATEAU State, asking them to intervene to stop the violence

Situation North West (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States)

07 October

Gunmen mounted in a Peugeot 406 abducted a businessman Alhaji Murtala ZAURO as he left a mosque opposite his house along BRININ-KEBBI/ ARGUNGU Road in ZAURO Village, BIRNIN KEBBI LGA, KEBBI State

09 October

Elements of 1 Div deployed to Op Whirl Punch conducted raids into KAMUKU Forest, KADUNA State clearing several bandit camps.

Elements of 1 Div deployed to Op Whirl Punch supported by local vigilantes raided a suspected bandit camp in the vicinity of KIDANDAN, GIWA LGA, KADUNA State killing one bandit and recovering 1 x AK 47 and 25 x 7.62mm (AK) rounds

Elements of 1 Div deployed to Op Whirl Punch supported by local vigilantes raided a suspected kidnappers camp along DOKA- RIJANA Road, GIWA LGA capturing an informant and 3 x dane guns

Gunmen intercepted travellers along SOKOTO- TURETA Road in the vicinity of MASHAYAR MAIKI, TURETA LGA, SOKOTO state around 2.00pm. A police patrol intervened resulting in a firefight, with a vehicle driver killed in the cross fire

13 October

NPF in ZAMFARA State have arrested 4 suspected armed bandits and cattle rustlers. The suspects claimed to be members of Buharin DAJIs gang . one Lawal ABUBAKAR claimed to have been a key arms supplier, selling up to 10 x AK 47 to the group, stating he bought 5 for N1.8m from BARKIN LADI, PLATEAU State and another 5 for the same amount. Another gang member Shehu SANI claimed to be a commander in the group, who joined initially to protect his own cattle before evolving to cattle rustling and being paid N5,000.00 per attack. Another Yusuf MANDE stated he joined the gang in 2014, after another gang/ vigilante group attacked and burnt his village and stole 120 cattle.

Political thugs attempted to intercept the convoy of SOKOTO State Gov TAMBUWAL (PDP) as it travelled through GAWUN NAMA District, SOKOTO, SOKOTO State from the airport, near the home of former Gov. Aliyu Magatakarda WAMAKKO (APC) leading to clashes. An innocent bystander was killed by stray bullets and several wounded. A car with the APC logo was set on fire in the vicinity of SOKOTO State University

Situation External Forces

08 October

The French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence PARLY visited CHAD stating the G5 Sahel Joint Force had 3 operations planned for the coming weeks on the MALI-MAURITANIA Border, BURKINA FASO, MALI and NIGER Republic border and NIGER Republic- CHAD border

10 October

Gunmen attacked Chadian forces in KAIGA KINDJI, LAC Region, CHAD in the vicinity of Lake CHAD in the early morning. The Chadians state they lost 8 killed and 11 wounded and killed 48 enemy


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Situation North East (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States)

02 October

Gunmen attacked a peace meeting convened by the Hama Bata of the Bata Chiefdom via the District Head between villagers and herdsmen in KADEMUN Village, DEMSA LGA, ADAMAWA State, over rustled cattle, killing 1 Fulani man, wounding 2 policemen and 4 Fulani.

A General Courts Martial sitting in MAIMALARI Cantonment, MAIDUGURI, BORNO State convicting a Captain of cowardly behaviour and negligence, a Captain and Lieutenant of conduct prejudicial to service discipline and a Sergeant and Lance Corporal of abduction, attempted abduction and extortion

04 October

Suspected political thugs attacked the venue of the PDP Primary for ADAMAWA South Senatorial Seat in NUMAN, NUMAN LGA, ADAMAWA allegedly destroying the election materials and results

A second batch of  157 former Boko Haram fighters had been deradicalised and completed a DDR programme begun in December 2017 and had been trained in a variety of skills such as farming, tailoring, welding, cosmetology, poultry, cutting hair

05 October

Elements of Sector 3, Op Lafiya Dole supported by CJTF vigilantes conducted a fighting patrol to GARA Village, north BORNO State encountering the enemy, killing 5 and capturing 4 x AK 47, 5 x AK 47 magazines, 55 x 7.62mm (AK), 8 x 5.56mm, 11 x mobile phones, assorted drugs, cooking utensils, snacks, provisions and foodstuffs and 6 x horses

06 October

Elements of 22 Bde and other security agencies such as the NPF, MOPOL, NSCDC, CJTF and NCS conducted a show of force operation in the DIKWA Emirate DIKWA LGA, BORNO State

Gunmen attacked NGALA IDP Camp in GAMBORU NGALA, NGALA LGA, BORNO State around 3.30am. elements of 3Bn repelled them killing 3 and capturing 1 wounded suspect

Gunmen attempted to infiltrate BITA, GWOZA LGA, BORNO State from the DAMBOA Axis around 8.00pm, elements of 114 BN engaged them killing 2

Situation North Centre (Abuja FCT, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba States)

30 September

Elements of Op Zenda patrolling along OTURKPO- APA- OTUKPA Road encountered suspected armed robbers around 3.30am, engaging them in a firefight, killing 1, dressed in military style uniform, a locally made revolver and 2 x cartridges were recovered

Violence broke out in TINA, ANGWA-RUKUBA, BRITISH –AMERICA, RIKKOS, BAUCHI Road, FARIGADA, DOGON DUTSE and other areas in JOS NORTH LGA, PLATEAU State. At least 5 people were killed including a student and 3 members of a wedding party from GOMBE State and several injured. The Governor Samuel LALONG was being endorsed by his party APC, whilst the opposition PDP was holding its primaries. Part of the disturbances included a clash between Hausa and Berom youths at a river where both youths go to bath leading to 2 deaths

A motorcyclist was murdered in the vicinity of CELEBRIDGE near TINA Junction, JOS NORTH LGA, PLATEAU State as he attempted to get to BRITISH-AMERCIAN Junction. Hausa youths from nearby DUTSE UKU Community protested and threatened vengeance.

01 October

Political thugs/ supporters of the 2 APC aspirants for the House Of Representatives SULEJA/ TAFA Constituency Ardo ABUBAKAR and Abubakar LADO clashed at a filling station at KADUNA Junction, SULEJA, SULEJA LGA, NIGER State, injuring 5 people and damaging 21 cars. The thugs were allegedly supporters of

02 October

Gunmen attacked cattle herders in the vicinity of TANJOL, RIYOM LGA, PLATEAU State wounding a Fulani boy in the hand and killing a cow

Gunmen attacked JOL Village, RIYOM LGA, PLATEAU State around 9.00pm killing 13 people

03 October

Up to 5 gunmen abducted the Chairman of SULEJA LGA, NIGER State Abdullahi MAJE as he travelled from the LG Secretariat to a meeting

Suspected nomadic gunmen attacked ARIRI Village, MIANGO District, BASSA LGA, PLATEAU State around 11.30pm murdering 10 children and 9 adults and wounding 4

04 October

Spokesman for Op Safe Haven stated 70 men and 2 women have been arrested in connection with the recent violence in JOS, PLATEAU State

Up to 200 suspected nomadic gunmen attacked NKIENDORO Village, Irigwe Chiefdom, BASSA LGA, PLATEAU State around midnight killing a soldier and 3 civilians and wounding a policeman and burning 74 food barns, 2 churches and 38 houses and destroying 47 farms. The attackers were allegedly dressed in black, used automatic weapons and spoke in Hausa and Fulani

The Pakistani High Commissioner Maj Gen (rtd) Waqar Ahmad KINGRAVI and Pakistani Defence Adviser Col Shahid AZIZ visited the NAF HQ, ABUJA, FCT, where he was hosted by the CAS Air Marshal Sadique ABUBAKAR

Violent disturbances occurred around the Senatorial Primaries for PDP BENUE South Constituency held at APER AKU Stadium, MAKURDI, BENUSE State resulting in at least 10 wounded and over 20 vehicles damaged

06 October

The NAF has deployed an EC 135 helicopter, an ISR aircraft and detachment of NAF Regiment to PLATEAU State. An L 39 from KANO, KANO State is being used for armed reconnaissance.

Situation North West (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States)

30 September

Gunmen ambushed vehicles on BIRNIN GWARI- KADUNA Road in the vicinity of TASHAR TSUNTSAYE near KURIGA Village, BIRNIN GWARI LGA, KADUNA State around 10.30am abducting dozens of people from a Golf car and 4 trucks

The Senior Special Assistant to President BUHARI on House of Representative matters Alhaji Abdulrahman Sulaiman Kawu SUMAILA claims he was attacked by 8 armed men at the APC SUMAILA Ward office in KANO, KANO State, whilst Party Primaries were ongoing. He claimed they had been hired by a rival politician Senator Kabiru Ibrahim GAYA’s Campaign Director Alhaji Abdulhamid Idris RIMI, as attested by 2 who had been arrested

NPF KANO State Command arrested 3 suspected car thieves along Airport Road, KANO, KANO State.

02 October

The KANO State Police Command claims to have recovered 47 firearms, 819 rounds of ammunition and 1,117 cartridges between January and August 2018

04 October

The KADUNA High Court, KADUNA, KADUNA State adjourned the bail application of IMN leader Ibraheem EL ZAKAKY and his wife ZINAT until 07 November 2018

05 October

KANO State Police Command stated it had arrested 34 suspected political thugs during the party primary elections between 02 and 05 October. 18 had been released unconditionally, whilst 16 would be investigated and charged

Situation External Forces

30 September

Gunmen attacked SATOMI, KOLOFATA Arrondissement, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region killing 2 villagers

01 October

Camerounian soldiers captured a suspected Boko Haram member in CHOLOVA, FOTOKOL Arrondissement, LOGONE ET CHARI Department, EXTREME NORD Region

02 October

Camerounian forces identified and defused a pressure plate IED on ARDORI- HOMEKA Road, MORA Arrondissement, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region

05 October

Gunmen murdered 2 villagers in the vicinity of DOUBLE, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region

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Situation North East (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States)

23 September

Commander 23 Armoured Bde Brig Gen Bello MUHAMMAD has announced a special joint task force to combat the farmer/ herdsmen conflict in ADAMAWA State

Elements of 121 Bn, 26 TF Bde in 7 Div Sector 1, conducted an intelligence driven night time clearance operation towards SIRDAWALA, GWOZA LGA, BORNO State in the vicinity of PULKA killing 6 enemy and rescuing 7 women and 12 children.

Gunmen mounted on trucks and motorcycles attacked KEKENO, KUKAWA LGA, BORNO State in Sector 3, 7 Div with RPGs and AAA guns around 5.45pm. The enemy approached using a herd of cattle as cover but were r detected. One vehicle allegedly tried to breach the perimeter but was neutralised.  After an hour long firefight reinforcements from MONGUNO arrived, who along with NAF aircraft repelled the attackers. The enemy attempted further attacks but were defeated retreating around 10.30pm

24 September

Elements of 121 Bn, 26 TF Bde in 7 Div Sector 1, continuing from their operations in SIRDAWALA, raided a valley in GWOZA LGA killing 1 enemy and rescuing 18 women and 34 children. 1 officer was wounded

26 September

Gunmen mounted in 9 trucks and several motorcycles attacked 145Bn positions in GASHIGAR, MOBBAR LGA, BORNO State in but were repelled, with 2 friendly soldiers wounded, 4 enemy killed, 6 x AK 47, 1 x RPG tube and 1 x RPG round captured. 1 x NAF FGA and Attack helicopter responded engaging enemy reinforcement s and pursuing them as they withdrew.

NAF ISR having identified a suspected enemy HQ in the vicinity of BAKASSI, near DABAN MASARA on the fringes of Lake CHAD, NAF Alphajets conducted a series of air strikes on the position destroying several structures.

Gunmen ambushed a civilian convoy being escorted by the military from MAIDUGURI to DIKWA, DIKWA LGA, BORNO State, in the vicinity of KALTARAM Village, MAFA LGA around 1.00pm, wounding 8 people.

28 September

The NSCDC stated it discovered fake US dollars to the amount of $144,000.00 in an uncompleted building in SHAGARI Low Cost Housing, MAIDUGURI, BORNO State on 16 September following a tip off from a labourer. All the notes bore the same serial numbers

NAF Alphajets conducted intelligence led air strikes on a suspected enemy meeting point at JABULLAM ABADAM LGA, BORNO State destroying several buildings and killing occupants. Human intelligence was confirmed by NAF ISR.

29 September

Media reports state that an alleged senior commander in Mamman NURs Faction ‘Ali GAGA’, a former Fulani herdsman, forcefully conscripted from TARABA State had been killed by his own men for allegedly planning to surrender with 300 hostages. ‘GAGA’ allegedly had excellent knowledge of the terrain due to his days as a herdsman and had reportedly sent a 3 minute video in Hausa language pledging to surrender through NGO’s

Situation North Centre (Abuja FCT, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba States)

24 September

BENUE State Police Command paraded 2 Camerounians and 3 Nigerians arrested on ADIKPO-UGBAMA Road, KWANDE LGA while driving in a Toyota Corolla for allegedly possessing 378 x rounds of assorted ammunition, a telescope, 2 x knives and assorted charms . The Camerounians stated they were purchasing ammunition for the Anglophone Insurgency and had retained the 3 Nigerians to help them navigate back to Cameroun via TAKUM, TARABA State

Suspected Irigwe gunmen murdered a 14 year old Fulani cattle herder around TIPPER GARAGE, RUKUBA Road, BASSA LGA, PLATEAU State whilst herding his cattle

26 September

Fulani herdsmen complained locals had killed 20 cattle in the vicinity of KADEMUN, DEMSA LGA, ADAMAWA State 29 September Suspected nomadic gunmen attacked TANJOL Hamlet, JOL Village, RIYOM LGA, PLATEAU State 3 times killing 1

27 September

Gunmen attacked a Community opposite KOWA Hotel, on RUKUBA Road, JOS NORTH LGA, PLATEAU State around 10.00pm during a rain storm killing 5 men, 8 women and a child and wounding several more

NSCDC TARABA State Command paraded 4 suspected car thieves who allegedly operated in and around JALINGO

28 September

Protester blocked roads in and around JOS, to protest the killings on RUKUBA Road. Miscreants allegedly used the opportunity to attempt to rob people and property, 2 suspected criminals were shot at TINA Junction. Up to 10 people are believed to have been killed by the security forces, suppressing the disturbance as it spread to GAADA BIU, KATAKO, FARIN GADA and JOS Main Market. The PLATEAU State Government imposed a 6.00pm to 6.00am curfew on JOS SOUTH and JOS NORTH LGAs

2 x NAF F 7Ni (1 x 2 seat trainer and 1 x single seat FGA) rehearsing for 58th Independence Day celebrations collided over JIKOKO Village, ABUJA, FCT. The 3 pilots ejected, whilst the aircraft crashed into KATAMPKE Hill area. 2 were rescued unhurt, whilst one pilot died from injuries sustained on impact with the ground

Approximately 12 gunmen mounted on 4 motorcycles attacked AGENA Market and AGBAAYE, BOIRKYO Ward, UKUM LGA, BENUE State around 6.30pm. 1 person was killed in AGENA, in AGBAAYE 5 were killed and 3 injured

29 September

Approximately 10 gunmen mounted on 4 motorcycles attacked a beer parlour in OKPOGA Village, OKPOKWU LGA, BENUE State around 9.00pm killing 6 people. Locals claim the attack was initiated by the neighbouring Olo Community in EDUMOGA Ward, OKPOKWU LGA

The PLATEAU State Government relaxed the curfew in JOS NORTH and JOS SOUTH LGA to 10.00pm to 6.00am

Gunmen ambushed a herdsman in the vicinity of JOL, murdering him and killing 5 cows

Situation North West (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States)

24 September

An NTA journalist Yahaya ISA, his wife and 2 cousins abducted in BIRNIN GWARI LGA, KADUNA State on 10 September was at 7.15am at TASHA KEJI near KURIGA along BIRNIN GWARI- KADUNA Road released after the payment of a N5m

25 September

Gunmen ambushed a truck carrying miners in the vicinity of BOGOMA Village, BIRNIN GWARI LGA, KADUNA State as they went home from the mine, abducting 16 of them

26 September

SOKOTO State Police Command paraded 15 suspected armed robbers, kidnappers and cattle rustlers, arrested in the vicinity of TULLUWA Village, RABAH LGA. The suspects had allegedly been operating in the vicinity of TABANI in particular and RABAH LGA in general

27 September

SOKOTO State Police Command arrested 2 men as they attempted to collect N300,000.00 ransom from DABAGIN BUM Village, WURNO LGA, as protection money to prevent attack. 1 other suspected bandit Haliru MUHAMMED was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attacks on TABANI and other villages in RABAH LGA in July 2018

29 September

The Chairman of the BIRNIN GWARI Vanguards for Security and Good Governance stated that a fake Army Colonel was arrested in a military base at KADA Motels, BIRNIN GWARI LGA, KADUNA State adjacent to the BAGOMA Dam on suspicion of aiding bandits, armed robbers and kidnappers. The suspect had allegedly been conducting the subterfuge for over 2 years and was discovered by an Army Captain on leave from BORNO State.

Situation External Forces

24 September

Gunmen attacked from DJABIRE to KANGARWA, killing 6 villagers from TAGAWA 1 and TAGAWA 2,, WAZA Arrondissement, KANGARWA, MORA Arrondissement, MAYO SAVA Department.

Gunmen attacked WANGARA, FOTOKOL Arrondissement, LOGONE ET CHARI Department, EXTREME NORD Region killing 2 villagers and wounding 2 others

27 September

Gunmen attacked TALA MALABRAHIM, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region at night killing 4 people

The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Dr YOUSSEF AL OTHAIMEEN allegedly met President BUHARI on the fringes of the UN General Assembly and offered to help with the Boko Haram insurgency via education

28 September

Gunmen attacked MOUSSAROM and NGUELEYA LAC Region, CHAD several kilometres south of BAGA SOLA near Lake CHAD at night  killing 3 Forestry officials, a Customs officer and 2 soldiers. Chadians claimed to have the repelled the attack in the early hours of Saturday morning killing 17 enemy

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Situation North East (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States)

16 September

Elements of 222 Bn, 21 Bde were ambushed as they conducted a clearance patrol in support of Op Rainbow were ambushed in the MAIDUGURI- BAMA Area around 11.00am. Troops fought through the ambush killing capturing 1 x GPMG, 1 x AK 47 and ammunition

17 September

Boko Haram ISWAP released a video showing the murder of Saifura AHMED one of the 3 abducted medical staff from RANN IDP camp in March 2018. The insurgents claim that their messages to the government were ignored and they would murder the other 2 hostages and the Dapchi abductee Leah SHARIBU

19 September

Gunmen mounted in trucks attacked WANORI, KALERI and AMARWA Villages, KONDUGA LGA, BORNO State along BAMA- MAIDUGURI Road around 9.00pm killing 9, wounding 9,  stealing foodstuffs and burning up to 20 houses. An NAF Alphajet responded, dispersing the attackers

Gunmen abducted a  4 year old boy Kashim BUKAR-DALORI  son the of the BORNO State APC Chairman  from MAIDUGURI Capital School, OLD GRA, MAIDUGURI by a pregnant woman, around 1.00pm. the kidnappers demanded N20m ransom by text message to the child’s mother to be paid in KANO, KANO State

A Staff Sergeant in 192Bn, 26 Bde, GWOZA, GWOZA LGA, BORNO State reportedly opened fire during a training exercise around 2.50pm, killing a Sergeant, wounding 3 sldiers and a CJTF Vigilante and then killing himself. The SSgt had allegedly returned to the unit 2 days prior after a break. The Army stated the incident had been an accidental discharge

21 September

IMN conducted their Ashura march ending at Central Hotel, POTISKUM, YOBE State around 8.30am. Clashes clash broke out shortly after, with the NPF claiming a marcher tried to snatch a weapon from a policeman, whilst IMN members claim they were attacked by soldiers with sticks and small arms after the parade ended. An innocent bystander was hit by a stray bullet and killed and 3 others. Several IMN members were arrested

A team from FSARS rescued Kashim BUKAR-DALORI abducted from MAIDUGURI Capital School from AL BARKA Guest Inn, MAIDUGURI, BORNO State. The kidnapper Fatima MOHAMMED was a relation of the boys mother, was 9 months pregnant at the time and gave birth overnight in the presence of the abductee. She was arrested. 2 male accomplices were arrested in KANO, KANO State as they attempted to collect the N20m ransom. The Manager of the Hotel was arrested and an alleged Army Major who facilitated MOHAMMED’s accommodation was sought.

Alleged kidnapers attempted to abduct the 8 year old son of ASKIRA UBA LGA Chairman from a Primary School in MAIDUGURI, BORNO State. Upon receiving the report the NPF blocked access routes to the city. The victims left the boy after 5 hours

Situation North Centre (Abuja FCT, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba States)

13 September

Members of the National Customs Service raided a warehouse in TUDUN WADA, GOMBE State seizing drugs valued at N7.35m, seizing 840 x packets of Tramadol and 4,437840 x packets of Diazepam

16 September

Gunmen murdered 3 men in GURA RIYOM, SOT Ward, GYEL, JOS SOUTH LGA, PLATEAU State around 11.00pm as they were travelling from SABONGIDA KANAL, KURU District, JOS SOUTH LGA. 7 suspects were arrested.

A woman and 2 men were murdered in the vicinity of KWATA, JOS SOUTH LGA, PLATEAU State as they returned from SABONGIDAN KANAL

Gunmen attacked a house in KWALL, MIANGO District, BASSA LGA, PLATEAU State around 10.45pm killing 1 and wounding 3

17 September

The Vice Chairman of the Egbura Cultural Development Association (ECDA) Sulieman ZUBERU stated that several Egbira villages in KOGI State such as UGYA, KATAKPA and UMAISHA in TOTO LGA, MOZUM, ADIMBEKU, IBOZOGI, KOTON KARFE, KPARECHE, ETTE and GEGU in BASSA LGA were under threat of attack.

Gunmen attacked and killed 3 men as they were travelling on a motorcycle from BARKIN LADI to ROPP Village, BARKIN LADI LGA, PLATEAU State. The men had been following a security convoy but had been unable to keep up

18 September

Staff members of the College of International Security Affairs, National Defence University, WASHINGTON DC, USA have conducted a 5 days course on countering terrorism and irregular threats at the National Defence College, ABUJA, FCT

19 September

The body of a Fulani man was found in  QUATER Village, BASSA LGA, PLATEAU State, he was the 4th Fulani  corpse to have been recovered in the area since 10 September

20 September

Gunmen attacked TSE VUE Village, UKUM LGA, BENUE State around 9.00am by suspected members of Terwase AKWAZA (aka GANA) strangling 5 men and wounding one other

21 September

Gunmen ambushed and robbed people heading to market on BALI – GARBABI Highway, TARABA State, around 5.30am an NPF patrol encountered them and engaged them in a fire fight killing 3, recovering a locally fabricated pistol, 6 x 0.75mm rounds of ammunition and assorted charms

22 September

Gunmen abducted 2 women from their farm in the vicinity of RIGASA Railway Station, IGABI LGA, KADUNA State

Situation North West (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States)

16 September

Gunmen abducted 3 academic staff of Shehu Idris College of Health, MAKARFI, MAKARFI LGA, KADUNA State between TASHAR YARI and MAKAFI whilst they were travelling from ZARIA to MAKARFI

17 September

A mob attacked an APC political gathering being held by Sen  Yusuf Abubakar YUSUF (APC TARABA CENTRAL) in BALI, BALI LGA, TARABA State. Security agents extracted him from the venue. One local vigilante was killed and several wounded. Aides to the Senator claimed the thugs had been sent by Minister of Women Affairs; Sen Aisha ALHASSAN in protest against the inauguration of Alhaji Ibrahim EL SUDI as the new State Party Chairman

18 September

The 3 staff of Shehu Idris College of Health were released at 8.00pm to the College Administrator

GOMBE State Police Command paraded 28 ‘Kalare’ thugs arrested on charges of theft, criminal conspiracy, abduction and rap

19 September

Gunmen attacked along BIRNIN GWARI-FUNTUA Road, BIRNIN GWARI LGA, KADUNA State killing one person and wounding 3 others whilst 1 person was missing

Gunmen abducted the son of KIRU LGA, KANO State from KIRU, KIRU LGA around midnight. A N50m ransom was demanded

20 September

IMN members conducted an Ashura procession in MUCHIYA, SABON GARI, ZARIA, KADUNA State, the NPF allege they blocked the roads and used catapults to attack people. 4 members were arrested

Situation External Forces

17 September

The Head of the Health Centre in NAGA, MAKARY, Arrondissement, LOGONE ET CHARI Department, EXTREME NORD Region

18 September

The Minister of Defence Mansur Muhammed DAN ALI visited Nigerien President Muhammadou ISSOUFOU in NAIMEY, NIGER Republic to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on fighting Boko Haram

20 September

Gunmen looted the medical centre in GOUDJIMDELE, MORA Arrondissement, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region at night

A BIR vehicle detonated an IED in the vicinity of DJOUROU, AMCHIDE, MAYO SAVA Department at night wounding 6 people

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Battle of the FOBS- Boko Haram ISWAPs 2018 Rainy Season Offensive (2)

In the previous instalment the author concluded that Boko Haram ISWAP has been conducting a successful campaign of spoiling attacks to prevent friendly forces from dominating Northern Borno and Yobe States with FOBs in order to forestall a friendly dry season offensive.

Based on a reading of events it is assumed that Boko Haram ISWAP has the ability to move large convoys of up to or over 10 vehicles and motorcycles distances of 150-250km, however they do not have the ability to defend their gains or sustain operations longer than a 12-24 hour period.

To ensure success the enemy uses a large force of mounted and dismounted fighters to outnumber and outgun friendly forces. The enemy’s current and future ops are sustained with materiel stolen from captured FOBs.

We can now consider the operational and tactical dimensions of the campaign.


The campaign thus far can be divided into 4 stages

FOB at Zari

Shaping/ Enabling Operations:  one can make a reasoned deduction that to prepare for this offensive Boko Haram ISWAP needed funds, arms, ammunition and fighters and to train new fighters.

Whilst the objectives of the raid on Rann are not known, one reason could have been to give fighters combat experience and capture arms and equipment. The abductions appear to be opportunistic. The raid on Dapchi appears to have been a kidnap for ransom and PR operation.

The attacks in Diffa and BlaBrin when seen in the context of the ongoing trials of Boko Haram suspects in Niger Republic could be considered pre-emptive attacks to intimidate Nigerien forces against interference with Boko Haram ISWAP operations, fixing them into a defensive posture and securing Boko Haram ISWAPs flanks.

Battle Preparation: another reasoned deduction would be that during the period of March to June 2018, Boko Haram ISWAP was buying and stockpiling weapons and ammunition, recruiting and training fighters and commanders, mercenary specialists such as mortar/ rocket makers/ operators, IED and VBIED makers, experienced commanders and guides who can navigate their way through the marshy terrain from Lake Chad to Bama or Jakana.  One would also assume that that reconnaissance operations were taking place against targets, harbour locations were being selected and plans finalised.

The Attack:the enemy has attacked broadly along the Damasak-Kukuwau-Baga axis. Initial attacks  on Gajiram were separated by a month from the attack on Jilli, after which they came in 5-7 days interval until 03 August, when attacks came almost every 3 days.

Guzamala LGA saw the largest number of attacks concentrated mainly in July- August 2018. The nature of the attacks indicate that Boko Haram ISWAP seeks to reduce the Nigerian military presence in Northern Borno and Yobe by attrition of men and materiel, capture weapons and equipment and generate propaganda in order to demoralise friendly forces and the local population.

Next stage: the rainy season has several months to run thus it is logical to assume the enemy will continue their attacks to prevent friendly forces from being established prior to the dry season. With the onset of the dry season it is likely that the enemy will utilise the more accessible terrain and newly acquired vehicles and ammunition to defeat the expected friendly offensive. If the offensive can be defeated early through spoiling attacks or reduced from a clear and hold type of operation to a raid and withdraw, then the enemy retains control of the vital Lake Chad/ Niger Republic border area.


The enemy’s tactics, techniques and procedures can be guessed from their actions and propaganda videos with some assumptions.

For the purpose of this piece I have broken the enemy’s attacks into 10 phases. I will look at these phases in terms of the enemy’s actions, what the phase means and friendly forces actions (or lack of);

1)       Research and Reconnaissance:

Enemy: it must be assumed that the enemy conducts hostile reconnaissance of friendly positions, noting routines, entry points, vulnerable points, weapon systems, defences, obstacles, positions of accommodation, armouries, communications, support weapons etc. This reconnaissance will most likely be done by civilian sympathisers or information extracted from civilians who work on or have access to the base or its environs. It should also be assumed that the enemy will reconnoitre the route from their base areas to their concentration areas.

Terrain analysis (

What does it mean: there will always be a period that the enemy is conducting reconnaissance. By various methods this period can be swung to the defenders advantage or at least used to provide early warning of an attack.

Friendly forces actions:  The first and most important element of defence (or any operation) is a map appreciation. A map (and/or satellite photos) of the given area is used to understand the local area, identifying natural obstacles, roads, bridges, rivers, areas of cover like gullies, forests, farms, villages, hills, avenues of approach etc. This helps a defender prioritise their defences and task patrols when the unit deploys. Aggressive foot and vehicle patrols around the base are the best way to defeat hostile reconnaissance although it is difficult but not impossible to detect. Other measures include strict control of civilians entering bases and constant surveillance of them, a good understanding of the normal pattern of life in the local area; when farmers, traders, students, workers go out or come back, how many they are, routes used, market days etc. These factors will not defeat hostile reconnaissance in its entirety but they will make it harder for the enemy and easier to detect anomalies.

2)       Orders and planning:

Enemy: enemy propaganda videos always show a sequence of orders, how detailed these are is unclear, however it is clear the enemy takes the time to formulate plans and brief them to key subordinates.

Boko Haram ISWAP Orders Group

What does it mean:  it demonstrates that the enemy relies on a planned sequence of events in order to conduct attacks and understands the importance of disseminating this plan to its subordinates.  This indicates that through training and experience (or both) the enemy possesses the requisite planning skills and capability to manage the tactics and logistics of these operations and has a defined command hierarchy

Friendly forces actions: understanding the enemies OODA (Observation-Orientation_ Decision-Action) loop will allow friendly forces to break in to it. As above the enemy must gather information, use that information to plan and then disseminate that plan and act on it. Interfering with any of these stages, disrupts the enemies effectiveness.

3)       Concentration:

Enemy: it is assumed that for their security,  fighters, weapons, ammunition and vehicles are kept separately in different camps. It is thus assumed that each element will move to and concentrate at a particular point, at a given time prior to an attack. This theory is borne out by testimony from villagers of ‘Boko Haram boys’ being seen in the bush several days prior to an attack. This concentration area can be anything from 5-20km from the target

What does it mean:  the enemy must reconnoitre these areas and identify places where they can harbour up. The characteristics of harbour areas are the same for insurgents and conventional forces, cover from view, space for vehicles, entry and exit points etc.

Friendly forces actions:  through a map appreciation supported by ISR and recce patrols friendly forces can identify potential harbour areas in a 5-20km radius of FOBs and maintain overwatch again with patrols or ISR, sensitise locals to communicate immediately they see any unusual activity and most importantly develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to respond to any positively identified enemy presence with artillery, air strikes or hasty attacks. The enemy is extremely vulnerable at this stage to defeat and destruction as they are concentrated in a relatively confined space, not deployed for combat and have a long distance to withdraw. This is one of the key phases in which to identify and neutralise the enemy

4)       The Approach:

Enemy: the enemy generally approaches with vehicles in column with motorcycles on the flanks and circling around the column, at times masquerading as Nigerian forces, in the event they cannot sustain the subterfuge they are generally careful not to molest civilians and warn them to leave.

What does it mean: the enemy must leave its harbour to attack friendly forces, to do this safely they must use a combination of speed, stealth, camouflage and deception.  The enemy at this point is once more vulnerable to detection and interdiction.

Friendly forces actions: Friendly forces should be postured to respond to any such approach. Early warning can be given by local villagers, standing patrols, observation points, ISR assets etc. Points should be identified where artillery and indirect fire can be used to neutralise the enemy such as ford or bridges over streams, gaps in walls or berms, road junctions etc.

5)       The Attack:

Enemy: The enemy attacks follow a broad pattern of dismounted fighters advancing towards the target engaging the friendly forces whilst crew served weapons mounted on pick ups trucks remain a tactical bound behind the dismounts suppressing friendly positions. Depending on what is available the enemy appears to attempt to bombard the target with mortars, homemade rockets, recoilless rifles or armoured VBIEDs. The dismounts draw fire and waste friendly ammunition, whilst vehicles manoeuvre around the target and suppress friendly strongpoints.

Bombardment with homemade rockets

What does it mean: the enemies attack uses fire support and manoeuvre to close with friendly positions. This requires some form of command and coordination. It also means whilst undertaking these actions they are essentially are fixed outside the FOB and thus vulnerable to fire, interdiction and counter attack

The Attack

Friendly forces actions: the enemy needs to keep their vehicles in range of the FOB as well as their dismounted fighters meaning that they can be effectively targeted by friendly fire. Thus a well laid out position with interlocking and overlapping arcs of fire for its direct fire weapons such as machine guns, AAA guns, etc can effectively neutralise advancing dismounted fighters. Enemy vehicle mounted and other fire support can be neutralised with direct fire weapons, if fired more accurately and/or in interlocking arcs or with indirect fire weapons such as mortars, artillery or tripod mounted machine guns. All of these are aided by certain practical steps, such as (again) a map appreciation, which will identify areas of natural cover such as rivers, dry river beds, gullies, buildings etc that the enemy can hide behind. Clearing the area around the base of grass and trees up to the effective range of personal weapons at least removes enemy cover from view. Snipers or sharpshooters are very effective in neutralising key personnel such as commanders, drivers, motorcycle resupply drivers or crew served weapon operators.

The deployment of dismounted fighters and soft skin vehicles can also be negated by the use of command detonated directional anti personnel mines such as the claymore or MON 50. These devices could be easily improvised (i.e. like the Civil War era Ogbunigwe), tactically placed and hidden around the position, particularly on vulnerable points like crossings, or in dead ground like gullies, they would be devastating for any attacker.

Air power is much loved by the Nigerian forces but this system has many flaws. Single seater fast jets like the Alphajet are not the most effective platform against small fast moving targets like vehicles, motorcycles or people, attack helicopters are the best and most effective platforms. All aircraft work best when they can be guided onto positively identified targets by observers either on the ground or failing that in the air via ISR platforms.

6)       Break In:

Enemy: using fire and manoeuvre the enemy tends to close with the target, in order to breach its perimeter. At this point even if friendly air support is available it is generally unable to interdict, once the enemy has breached the perimeter, it generally overruns the position as friendly forces withdraw

Enemy fighter on perimeter berm

What does it mean: An obstacle hinders movement, once the enemy reaches the perimeter, they must halt even if only momentarily to get through it. Vehicles close to the berm will have their fields of fire restricted and even vehicles far off will be restricted by the risk of hitting own troops.

Friendly forces actions: the enemy getting close enough to breach, is generally a bad thing, however in a well planned defence, this also presents an opportunity to inflict casualties on the enemy with anti personnel, command detonated mines, booby traps etc. It is also an opportunity to call down final protective fire from machine guns, mortars and artillery around the perimeter of the FOB destroying any enemy in the open

7)        Fight Through:

Enemy: once the enemy has breached the perimeter they generally advance through the friendly position, clearing structures and killing and capturing stragglers

Enemy fighting through friendly tents

What does it mean: at this point the crisis of the battle has been reached.

Friendly forces actions: at this point options are limited however this still presents an opportunity to inflict casualties on the enemy and deny them the base. By building further defences and obstacles inside the perimeter fence, once the enemy breaches the perimeter, they will be forced to continue fighting in order to regain control. Having a reinforced bunker that defenders can withdraw to would also be useful. Bearing in mind that at this point the enemy would have fought over a distance for several hours, will have suffered casualties and be most likely low on ammunition, a well laid out base will channel attackers into killing zones preventing them from advancing further. In the event that friendly forces cannot hold the attackers off then an orderly fighting withdrawal will preserve the unit for a counter attack. Currently friendly forces seem to disperse from the enemy in a disorganised manner allowing the enemy to pick them off individually

8)       Acquire:

Enemy: once the position is clear the enemy loots weapons, equipment, food stuffs, vehicles and any other materiel it can remove. This process generally takes place at night and the enemy generally burns anything it can’t take

What does it mean: this is a key phase in the enemies operation. The enemy is also extremely vulnerable at this point as they will be dealing with casualties and more importantly fixed in the base and more or less unable to defend it if attacked

Captured weapons in captured vehicle

Friendly forces actions: this phase is a prime opportunity to either mitigate defeat or convert it to victory. In the first place SOPs should be developed to ensure any vehicle, weapon or critical piece of equipment is immobilised to prevent the enemy from using them, this can include removing firing pins or breech blocks from weapons, or else bending the barrels or putting stones or scraps in them, removing distribution caps, batteries or cylinders from vehicles or other methods of immobilisation. Food, can be spoilt mixing it with fuel or sand etc. Armouries if they cannot be emptied should be booby trapped to deter anyone attempting to breach it.

When time is short abandoned vehicles or equipment should be burnt. As a penultimate SOP a sustained artillery bombardment at the request of the FOB commanders when the enemy has definitely occupied the position can be planned for. Follow up with intermittent bombardments at irregular intervals while the position is in enemy hands will also deter the enemy from staying too long. A final SOP should call for a rapid counter attack either by the unit that has just withdrawn or from the closest friendly unit. As this fight will take place at night, it would behove troops to train extensively in night fighting and for officers and men of different FOBs to familiarise themselves with neighbouring FOBs and the approaches to them.

9)       Extract/ Withdrawal:

Enemy: the enemy generally extracts from the friendly position under the cover of darkness, with their personnel, vehicles, casualties and loot. It is unclear if they move back to their safe areas straight away or take time to reconsolidate. The author assumes that the enemy moves to a new concentration area as they would need to refuel and conduct any emergency repairs on vehicles, reapply camouflage, treat casualties, rest or replace drivers etc. before embarking on the return journey. However this is a guess. The author assumes that the enemy conducts their withdrawal from a second concentration area, by breaking into smaller columns and moving back via different routes. This not only masks their signature from the air, it also confuses human sources who would report multiple enemy columns back to friendly forces making it difficult for them to decide which one is genuine or they should respond to. It also means if one column is interdicted others will get through. However this is a guess

What does it mean: as above, the characteristics of a harbour area mean that an educated guess can allow friendly forces to identify suspected enemy positions, investigate and if positively identified neutralise with artillery, air or ground attacks.

Friendly forces actions:Once the enemy begins to withdraw, they will be harder to detect but a determined effort to track them can result in at least one column destroyed. Even if an enemy force breaks into 4 or 5 groups intercepting at least one still inflicts 25% or 20% casualties on them. The South African/ Rhodesian Fireforce model is ideal for these type of seek, pursue, destroy missions.

10)   Exploit:

Enemy fighters and captured weapons

Enemy: upon returning to base the enemy exploits its successes, by filming its attacks and producing and distributing propaganda videos as well as utilising captured weapons, vehicles and materiel.

What does it mean: the enemy ensures that it films key parts of its assault messaging its audiences that its fighters are tough, skilled and fearless, these films are well made, with the view of encouraging sympathisers, sponsors and allies and demoralising friendly forces and the civilian population. Captured equipment is a key part of the enemies supply chain

Friendly forces actions: enemy propaganda can be easily countered with well produced content from friendly forces. Whilst media operations have improved the reliance on still pictures and press releases concedes the media space to the enemy. It is curious that insurgent groups can produce better quality media content than a nation state. Utilising UAV footage, equipping frontline soldiers with action cameras etc can produce sufficient content with which to produce high quality media products. The enemies need to capture friendly weapons in order to sustain themselves can be exploited, by leaving ‘bait’ equipment to be captured, such as booby trapped vehicles or vehicles with GPS trackers. Contaminated food or deliberately sabotaged ammunition can also be abandoned for the enemy. After a few incidents of spontaneously exploding arms dumps, or air strikes on recently returned fighters, the enemy will be in a quandary as to whether to continue looting or not.


It is the opinion of the author that the enemy is conducting a well planned and resourced campaign that will continue until the end of the rainy season. It is also the opinion of the author that as long as the enemy is attacking at will they have the initiative.

The enemies tactics, techniques and procedures however present friendly forces with numerous opportunities to defeat this campaign with a more aggressive and well planned counter offensive by:

  • Improving SOPs for FOB and area defence
  • Improved training for commanders and soldiers, particularly in terms of defence, artillery observation, night fighting, patrolling etc
  • Revising SOPs to ensure that rapid counter attacks are launched immediately an enemy attack is reported in order to cut off the enemies retreat, recapture a fallen position, attack the enemy while they are attacking the FOB or pursue them to their concentration areas
  • Revising training and SOPs to ensure commanders and soldiers are well trained and practice in fighting withdrawals and counter attacks, ensuring they are able to preserve life and equipment and deny any equipment they cannot take with them.
  • Reprioritising friendly objectives from just repelling or defeating enemy attacks to destroying any enemy force, by cutting off their retreat, fixing them with fire and manoeuvre, destroying them with concentrated fire from ground, air or artillery and then relentlessly pursuing all survivors.

These however are only one side of the equation, a successful defensive plan simply deters or defeats enemy attacks. The old adage that attack is the best form of defence remains true today, as the enemy is ably demonstrating.

Victory does not come from God, it comes from well planned operations by well trained, well led, properly equipped and disciplined men.

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Situation North East (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States)

09 September

Gunmen allegedly attacked BAGA, KUKAWA LGA, BORNO State

12 September

Gunmen attacked 145Bn positions (CO Lt Col James NKEREUWEM) ) in DAMASAK, MOBBAR LGA, BORNO State around 7.00pm. The enemy was defeated with the aid of NAF ISR and close air support around 11.00pm, with 7 friendly wounded, 7 enemy killed and 2 x vehicles 1 x AAA gun, 4 x AK 47, 7 x AK 47 magazines, 1 x bayonet, 47 x 7.62mm (AK), 174 x 7.62mm (NATO) and 2 x HE grenades captured.

A 242Bn patrol encountered the enemy in the vicinity of GWOROM near GAJIRAM, GEIDAM LGA, YOBE State killing 3 and wounding 2 who fled, 1 x GPMG and some ammunition were captured

The COAS Lt Gen TY BURATAI visited DAMBOA, DAMBOA LGA, GUDUMBLI, GUZAMALA LGA AND DAMASAK MOBBAR LGA, BORNO State, conducting on the spot inspections of the local units and temporarily relocating his Operational HQ to GUDUMBALi. The COAS reportedly inspected weapons in the armouries and held durbars with the junior soldiers to get an understanding of their issues

NAF ISR platforms tracked a vehicle to the vicinity of TUMBUN REGO, tasking craft F7Ni, Alphajet and Mi 35m attacked enemy targets in, near Lake CHAD destroying 1 x enemy vehicle and killing several enemy.

13 September

Several hundred suspected nomadic gunmen attacked NYANGA, BUKUTO, GON, BOLKI and NZOMOSU, NUMAN LGA, ADAMAWA State burning the latter 3 villages and abducting several women. Up to 50 people were reported killed, with approximately 35 people were allegedly drowned as they fled the attackers by boat. The attackers allegedly deployed from ABBARE, xxx LGA, TARABA State

14 September

Gunmen mounted on motorcycles attacked MODU AJIRI and BULAMA KAYIRI, NGANZAI LGA, BORNO State stealing cattle and sheep killing 8 people and fatally wounding 4

Media reports state that Mamman NUR has been killed by his fighters on 21 August 2018 for allegedly becoming ‘too soft’, releasing the DAPHI abductees without ransom and being to close to the government, There is no corroboration from any other sources.

NAF ISR platforms responding to reports of an enemy convoy in the vicinity of GUDUMBALI, GUZAMALA LGA and DAMASAK, MOBBAR LGA, BORNO State identified the vehicles 24km south west of GUDUMBALI heading north and tasked an Attack Helicopter (AH) to intercept them, the AH engaged and neutralised 4 vehicles and its occupants between friendly positions at METELE and AREGE. 5 vehicles fled and dispersed, regrouping and retreating to TUMBUN REGO, tracked by  the ISR platform, where the rearmed and refuelled  AH conducted several attack runs  registering 3 direct hits on the vehicles.

15 September

2 x NAF Alphajets conducted air strikes on a suspected enemy logistics base in TUMBUN REGO, destroying several buildings and structures.

Elements of 21 Special Armoured Bde conducted Op Rainbow 15 in conjunction with Camerounian Armed Forces clearing YABIRI KOTE and BULA DADOBE Villages in the KOTE KURA Area of BAMA LGA, BORNO State killing 5 enemy and capturing 3 x AK47, 2 x IEDs, 1 x IED belt, 2 x motorcycles, 8 x bicycles and 1 x Boko Haram flag

Situation North Centre (Abuja FCT, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba States)

13 September

A clash between Egbira and Bassa people in SOFIYO (aka SHAFA ABAKPA) Village, TOTO LGA, NASARAWA State led to the death of 8 and up to 10 wounded. Local residents claim Bassa gunmen attacked the Egbira’s in the village around 5.00am

BENUE State Governor Samuel ORTOM stated that half of 5 LGA’s (MAKURDI, GWER WEST, GUMA, LOGO and KWANDE) had been attacked by Fulani herdsmen at the cost of 560 lives since the beginning of the year

Suspected armed robbers robbed several pilgrims and officials returning from Hajj on the ABUJA-KEFFI-LAFIA Highway between NASARAWA EGGON, NASARAWA EGGON and AKWANGA, AKWANGA LGA, NASARAWA State

14 September

Suspected armed robbers mounted an illegal checkpoint on the ABUJA-KEFFI-LAFIA Highway between GARAKU and AKWANGA, AKWANGA LGA, NASARAWA State

Suspected political thugs attacked and vandalised the campaign offices of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in JALINGO, TARABA State. The local party is beset by factional infighting

Suspected nomadic gunmen attacked TURU Village, JOS SOUTH LGA, PLATEAU State near KARL KUMM University around 7.15pm abducting 3 teenage herders and stealing 70 cattle. 2 of the boys were murdered and their bodies dumped in the bush around DAHOOL BOB, KURU District and one rescued alive

15 September

Suspected nomadic gunmen attacked BAWA GARKI Village, LAU LGA, TARABA State at night killing 3 people

Situation North West (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States)

09 September

Gunmen attacked KIRAZO Village, BIRNIN GWARI LGA, KADUNA State along BIRNIN GWARI- FUNTUA Road around 3.00am abducting a former village Head called BASAW and then abducted a person called DAYYABU from MAIGWARI Village

10 September

2 men were remanded in custody by  SOKOTO Chief Magistrates Court for offences contrary to Sections 103 and 405(f) of the Penal Code

KADUNA State Police Command paraded 2 x suspected kidnappers, 14 x suspected armed robbers, 3 x suspected fraudsters and 1 x suspected motorcycle thieves and 1 x locally made firearm, 2 x dane guns, 6 x shotgun cartridges, 1,366 x 7.62mm rounds, bundles of counterfeit US Dollars, 3 x motorcycles, 1 x cutlass, 8 x wristwatches, 1 x knife and assorted charms

Elements of 1 Div tasked to Op Whirl Punch conducted clearance operations raiding suspected kidnappers hideouts in KIDANDAN, UNGUWAN BILYA, SOFA, UNGUWAN NAKULI and along DOGON DAWA Road, BIRNIN GWARI LGA, KADUNA State. 6 suspected kidnappers were killed

Elements of 1 Div tasked to Op Whirl Punch supported by vigilantes conducted ambushes on suspected bandit routes in the vicinity of KURIGA, GAYAM, MAGANDA, VHIKI DE PARLOUR and FARIN RUWA, CHIKUN LGA, KADUNA State

Elements of 1 Div tasked to Op Whirl Punch conducted clearance operations in the vicinity of GIDAN HARUNA, KIDAN ISA, MOBALE and KUDURU, CHIKUN LGA, KADUNA State killing 4 suspected bandits And capturing  a suspected kidnapper known as MUSA and 1 x AK 47 magazine, 16 x 7.62mm (AK) rounds, 1 x dane gun, 1 x local pistol and 2 x mobile phones.

Elements of 1 Div tasked to Op Whirl Punch conducted clearance operations along GWASKA- DOKA Area engaging bandits reportedly fleeing DOGON DAWA and KAMUKU Forests capturing 4 x motorcycles and other items

Gunmen abducted a couple Mr and Mrs ISA and their male and female relatives, along the BIRNIN GWARI-KADUNA Road in BIRNIN GWARI LGA, KADUNA State en route to KADUNA

12 September

Gunmen attacked a Viewing Centre in the Village Hall in BADARAWA, SHINKAFI LGA, ZAMFARA State around 2.00am as locals watched a film, killing 21 and wounding 20

15 September

Gunmen abducted KADUNA State House of Assembly Staff Barrister Salisu HARUNA along the BIRNIN GWARI-KADUNA Road in the vicinity of KURIGA, BIRNIN GWARI LGA around 3.00pm. The kidnappers asked for a ransom of N10m

Situation External Forces

11 September

Gunmen ambushed elements of the MNJTF in the vicinity of WAMBACHE and BOUDOUWA, MORA Arrondissement, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region killing 1 person

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Battle of the FOBS- Boko Haram ISWAPs 2018 Rainy Season Offensive (1)

Since March 2018 there have been a series of reported (by the military or press) attacks on FOBs in and around Northern Yobe and Borno States.

General location of attacks

As this conflict moved towards its 10th year, it is pertinent to review these attacks, establish any patterns and try and learn operational and tactical lessons using open source information from social and traditional media.


19 February– Gunmen attacked Dapchi, Bursari LGA, Yobe State abducting 110 girls from Government Girls Science and Technical College, driving them away in a truck. The abductees were well treated given food and transported by truck, car and canoe across a river and then into a thick forest, where they were kept in a house which was reportedly well camouflaged. 5 girls died during the abduction. A day earlier military checkpoints in the vicinity had been withdrawn

01 March – Gunmen mounted on pick up trucks and motorcycles attacked Rann, Kala Balge LGA, Borno State around 7.00pm with small arms, RPGs and crew served weapons, whilst the garrison was watching a football match killing 4 soldiers, 6 policemen and 4 medical staff for international NGOs, wounding 1 aid worker. A nurse and 2 midwives working for UNICEF and ICRC were abducted.

21 March – Boko Haram ISWAP drove in a 9 vehicle convoy to Dapchi to release 104 schoolgirls and two other children from the town. The return journey reportedly began on Saturday 17th March, when some hostages were loaded onto vehicles for the drive to the village. The release was negotiated by the DSS. The media and the UN alleged a ransom of up to €3m was paid and some detained enemy commanders exchanged. Other sources state that Daesh in Iraq and Syria intervened due to their objection to the abduction of Muslim school children.

01 May – The Army commences Operation Last Hold commanded by Maj Gen Abba Dikko,  in Northern Borno/ Lake Chad area with 3 objectives, clearing the remnants of the enemy, assisting IDPs return and protecting them, enabling normal farming and commercial activities from 01 May to 31 August. The Concept of Operations called for deploying 6 additional manoeuvre brigades to conduct clearance operations, patrols to dominate Guzamala, Mobbar, Marte, Gubio, Kala Balge, Ngala, Gubio and Monguno LGAs, clear  IEDs, clear Lake Chad of weeds in order to facilitate free movement of boats and people.

08 May –A handwritten signed note was sent to journalist Ahmed Salkida from the 3 medical personnel abducted in Rann, pleading for their release.

05 June – 2 x female and 1 x male PBIED attacked Koura District, Diffa, Diffa Region, Niger Republic around 10.00pm killing 9 people in near simultaneous explosions near a Quaranic School, mosque and shop.

11 June – Elements of 153 TF Bn supported by Camerounian forces conducted clearance operations in the vicinity of Lake CHAD, clearing Bulakeisa, Tumbuma Babba, Abbaganaram and Dan Baure, killing 23 enemy and capturing 6 x AK 47, 2 x FN FAL, 8 x AK 47 magazines, 33 x 7.62mm (NATO) rounds, 1 x 7.62mm (NATO) link belt and 2 x motorcycles

16 June  – The Army launched Operation Sharan Gwona da Sharan Gida (Operation Clear Farmlands/ Houses) in Gudumbali, Guzamala LGA, with the return of about 2,000 IDPs to commence farming and normal daily life in the liberated town after fleeing 6 years ago.

18 June – Gunmen mounted in 11 trucks attacked 242Bn in Gajiram, Nganzai LGA Borno State around 5.40pm killing 9 and wounding 2. Approximately 12 enemy were killed.

01 July – Gunmen attacked Nigerien positions in the vicinity of Bla Brin Village, Diffa Region 40km from N’guigmi killing at least 10 Nigerien soldiers, wounding 3 with 4 missing

13 July– Elements of 21 Bde, 22 TF Bde supported by 8 military informants (?), 1 x CJTF vigilante and 2 x hunters mounted in 7 x gun trucks and 2 x Toyota Hilux from Bama, Bama LGA  conducted a deliberate operation in Kwakwa, Bama LGA at 9.40am, the operation continued successfully until 4.00pm when vehicles became bogged down in the mud in the vicinity of Boboshe, troops dismounted to proceed on foot. The enemy ambushed friendly forces, scattering them and forcing them to disperse, 2 x gun trucks managed to withdraw. The enemy captured 5 trucks, 5 x AAA guns and all the other abandoned stores and armaments. The NAF responded the next day identifying the 2 x trucks abandoned by the enemy. 1 officer and 2 soldiers were reported MIA, 10 x enemy killed and 4 x AK 47 captured

14 July – Several hundred gunmen mounted in trucks and motorcycles attacked 81 Div Forward Bde (allegedly with 734 pax) in Jilli Village, Geidam LGA, Borno State around 7.30pm. The enemy approached from the Lake Chad area via Gubio and concentrated in the bush, overrunning the base after a 2 hour firefight, killing 3 officers and 28 Other Ranks (OR) and 2 CJTF vigilantes, 1 officer, 24 ORs and 3 CJTF were wounded, 9 CJTF were reported missing in action. The enemy captured the Command Hilux with communications equipment, an ambulance, 2 weeks rations, fuel and lubricants and uniforms. They destroyed 2 x Sino trucks, 1 x Mack Truck and a water tanker in situ as well as burning offices, stores and a church

21 July– Gunmen ambushed a 233 Bn patrol on Sarawa Road in the vicinity of Babangida, Tarmuwa LGA, Yobe State killing 8 (20 in some reports) soldiers, wounding 1 (20 in some reports) and destroying at least on vehicle mounted with an AAA gun

Jakana Police Station

26 July – Gunmen mounted in up to 30 vehicles and motorcycles attacked Jakana, Konduga LGA, Borno State around 5.42pm from the west via Benisheik with small arms, crew served weapons and RPGs, overrunning the adjacent military base and burning down the police station, killing at least 2 soldiers, 2 policemen and a civilian and wounding 3 soldiers and 9 civilians. Friendly forces fell back to Kolori, until police and military counter attacked after about 2 hours defeating the enemy. The enemy withdrew suffering unknown casualties capturing 1 x truck mounting an AAA gun, 2 x Toyota Hilux and 1 x APC as well as foodstuffs and other stores

27 July – Gunmen mounted on 3 x gun trucks attacked Mairari Village, Monguno LGA, Borno State around 6.50pm. Troops from the FOB counter attacked with air support, killing 16 enemy, recapturing 2 x gun trucks and 163 x AAA gun rounds. 1 soldier and 4 civilians were killed

27 July – Gunmen mounted in 5 trucks and several motorcycles attacked a checkpoint in Bunari, Guzamala  LGA, Borno State near Monguno around 6.30pm with small arms killing 11 soldiers and 3 civilians and overrunning the checkpoint, capturing 1 x APC, a gun truck and 2 other trucks. Friendly forces from Monguno counter attacked recapturing the position

03 August – Gunmen mounted in 10 trucks attacked Gasarwa, Nganzai LGA, Borno State near Monguno defeating vigilantes and setting the village on fire killing 2 elderly men and 3 children and destroying food and livestock.

06 August – Gunmen mounted on trucks and motorcycles attacked Munduri Village, Nganzai LGA, Borno State at dawn with small arms and RPGs capturing and murdering 7 people and burning the village.

08 August – Gunmen mounted in trucks attacked 81 Bde, military positions in Garunda, Guzamala LGA, Borno State, killing 17 troops and an excavator operator and wounding 14. They overran the base stealing weapons, vehicles and equipment before retreating. The Troops had relocated from Jilli and were preparing new defensive positions when attacked. The Army stated they killed 7, suffering 8 wounded.

15 August – Gunmen attacked military positions in Gundari, Guzamala LGA, Borno State, friendly forces repelled the attack killing 7 enemy

17 August – Gunmen mounted in vehicles attacked Malari, Guzamala LGA, Borno State, with small arms and RPGs around 8.00pm burning 40 houses and looting foodstuffs

19 August -Gunmen attacked Mairari Village, Guzamala LGA, Borno State, near Monguno around 2.00am with small arms and RPGs, killing up to 19 people. NPF stationed in the village allegedly withdrew when attacked. Locals allege that the enemy had been sighted massing 3 days prior to the attack but troops ignored their warning.

27 August – Boko Haram ISWAP released an audio recording with a still photo of the 3 nurses abducted from Rann in March 2018, dated Saturday 13 August (the closest Saturday was 11 August), pleading for their release

28 August – Boko Haram released an audio recording and still photograph of Leah Sharibu, the remaining Dapchi abductee, pleading with the President for assistance in facilitating her release

30 August – Gunmen mounted in 12 trucks attacked 2 Div TF Bn positions in Zari, Guzamala LGA, Borno State, 30km east of Damasak from the direction of Garunda with crew served weapons, IEDs, RPGs and small arms around 4.00pm. The enemy approached dressed in military style uniforms through nearby villages.  The base was overrun with 31 reported killed and 19 wounded. Friendly forces responded with air strikes with bombs and rockets, from NAF Alphajet, F7Ni and Mi 35 supported by 2 x ISR platforms, destroying at least 2 vehicles, allowing reinforcements from 145 Bn to counter attack and retake the base. The enemy burnt communications equipment and accommodations and looted APCs, AAA guns, a water tanker, utility trucks, an ambulance and other equipment before withdrawal. 17 soldiers bodies were discovered in the bush around the town.

08 September – Gunmen mounted on motorcycles and pick up trucks attacked Gudumbali, Guzamala LGA, Borno State, with small arms, AAA guns and RPGs around 7.50pm, overrunning the base early the next morning around 5.00am. The enemy reportedly passed through the town, without molesting civilians allowing them to flee before launching the attack. Troops withdrew towards Gajiram, 8 civilians in the base were killed

12 September Gunmen attacked 145Bn positions in Damasak, Mobbar LGA, Borno State around 7.00pm. The enemy was defeated with the aid of NAF ISR and close air support around 11.00pm, with 7 friendly wounded, 7 enemy killed and 2 x vehicles 1 x AAA gun, 4 x AK 47, 7 x AK 47 magazines, 1 x bayonet, 47 x 7.62mm (AK), 174 x 7.62mm (NATO) and 2 x HE grenades captured.

Summary: the timeline indicates that before the FOB attacks started on 18 June, there were 2 significant events. The first is the abduction and release of the Dapchi abductees, the second is Op Last Hold deploying additional troops to Northern Yobe and Borno and the return of IDPs. There were then 2 ambushes and 14 deliberate attacks on fixed positions. One ambush took place at an extended range from Lake Chad in Bama, the Jakana raid was not only far from Lake Chad but less than an hour from Maiduguri.


Several interesting factors can be deduced from the information above:

Distance/ distribution: majority of the attacks have been within 150km of Lake Chad. The area around Gajiram and Gudumbali saw the majority of the initial attacks against FOBs and checkpoints, however Jilli, Dapchi and Babangida are over 250km from Lake Chad. Travelling as the crow flies these are journeys that should take 1-2 hours or 2-3 hours respectively. However moving a force of up to 10 vehicles tactically over unmade roads through water soaked ground would take considerably longer.

Terrain: whilst the Sahel Savannah is generally dry, the area south of the Komadougou Yobe River forms a seasonal wetland, with grass, trees, forests, marshes, seasonal streams and rivers. This terrain restricts movement to heavy armoured vehicles but is passable to all terrain vehicles with appropriate guides. The vegetation whilst not continuous forest or jungle is enough to aid cover from view whilst the numerous tiny scattered villages can provide sustenance to a force living off the land.

Nigerian troops crossing a water feature in Borno State September 2018


Type of attacks: other than the ambushes in Tarmuwa and Boboshe, all the attacks have been deliberate combined arms attacks with support weapons such as vehicle mounted AAA guns, mortars, improvised rockets and recoilless rifles, as well as dismounts with small arms, RPGs and machine guns. Enemy tactics have varied slightly, with deception being used in some circumstances to gain entry, in others support weapons have been used to suppress the position before attack. However in all cases the enemy uses overwhelming force in their attacks.

Time of attacks: the attacks have mostly been in the evening between 4.00pm and 8.00pm, with some dawn and early morning attacks as well. 5.00pm to 7.30pm appears to be the most popular time range. These timings could be to coincide with evening meals at the FOBs but more likely, to reduce the risk of interference from the NAF. Even if aircraft could scramble immediately it would take them 30-40 minutes to arrive, giving them at most an hour of daylight to acquire and destroy targets. In reality the length of time it takes to request, authorise and task air support means aircraft would generally arrive after nightfall limiting their ability to support friendly troops. The enemy can thus loot the base until early morning and then extract before dawn with their loot.

Conduct: the enemy has been careful to not unduly harm civilians, generally issuing warnings that they are not the target but also extorting funds and stealing food and livestock. This demonstrates that whilst the enemy no longer uses gratuitous violence, it is still highly predatory, seeing civilians as a resource to be extracted from as opposed to an audience to be won over. Little effort is given to proselytising during attacks although this may be due to logical practical limitations. During the release of the Dapchi girls the enemy preached to the crowd who came back to welcome the girls.

Propaganda: well photographed well produced videos have been made with several clear messages. One message seems to be to emphasise the professionalism of Boko Haram ISWAP, showing them receiving orders, forming up for the attack and fighting through competently. Nigerian forces are shown either withdrawing or dead. Enemy fighters are shown holding their weapons properly and taking aimed shots. Aircraft are shown and in the next frame a heavy machine gun is shown firing into the air, whether a vehicle in the open would actually risk engaging aircraft whist in the open is questionable but the message of defiance and fearlessness was presented. Captured loot is shown messaging not just their own audience of the spoils that await but highlighting that they were able to escape not just unscathed but with goodies.

Friendly forces action: the announcement of Op Last Hold with the specified objective of placing troops in the Northern Borno and Yobe adjacent to the Nigeria/ Niger Republic border and athwart the Damasak- Baga axis would have constituted a threat to enemy operations. An established presence in this area would not only affect Boko Haram ISWAPs armed actions but also their economic actions. These FOBs would serve as a jump off point for a dry season offensive towards Lake Chad, with Boko Haram ISWAP potentially caught between Op Last Hold, MNJTF and other forces. The returning civilian population would act as a screen for friendly forces providing information about enemy movements and also serve as a contrast to those people trapped under enemy control. If Boko Haram ISWAP had intended to have a quiet rainy season, then Op Last Hold put paid to that.


Based on the information publically available we can assume:

  • Boko Haram ISWAP is conducting a deliberate offensive to deny Northern Borno and Yobe to Nigerian forces.
  • Boko Haram ISWAPs intent appears to be to reduce Nigerian FOBs through the attrition of men and materiel, forcing Nigerian forces into a defensive as opposed to an offensive battle in order to preserve their base areas from sustained ground attack
  • A secondary objective is to capture as much materiel and equipment as possible to replenish enemy stocks and increase the costs to friendly forces
  • In order to achieve this objective Boko Haram ISWAP has retained or regenerated their capability to operate successfully at range
  • However they do not have the ability to take and hold ground for longer than 12-24 hours
  • To reduce targets in the given timeframe the enemy must use overwhelming force, necessitating the concentration and movement of large convoys of vehicles and motorcycles


It is in the opinion of this author that Boko Haram ISWAP has been involved in a thus far successful campaign of spoiling attacks to prevent the establishment of friendly FOBs and prevent friendly forces from dominating the ground. The enemy has focussed on attacking FOBs close to Lake Chad as often as they can with larger scale attacks at range to prevent the bigger FOBs from being established that would support the Lake Chad FOBs.

Kidnap for ransom and propaganda can be considered a key part of Boko Haram ISWAPs enabling operations, while it cannot be conclusively stated that the Dapchi raid funded this offensive, there is a clear pattern of the Nigerian government paying ransoms for high profile abductees. The alleged objections of Daesh over taking Muslim hostages contrasts with the abduction of the Rann nurses and in 2017 the abduction of Muslim UNIMAID oil prospectors.

Nigerian military intentions to garrison Northern Yobe and Borno were correct, a successful operation would have reduced enemy freedom of movement and forced them to disperse, fight attritional battles on friendly forces terms or else be confined to a small space where they could be reduced with air power.

This plan however was poorly executed, failing to anticipate an enemy reaction or adequately prepare sub units to fight aggressive defensive battles.

In the next instalment we will try to establish if there any operational or tactical lessons that can be learned from this offensive.

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