The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) newly-acquired A-29 Super Tucano COIN [Counter-Insurgency] warplanes had carried out a series of airstrikes against ISIS branch in Nigeria, the Islamic State-West Africa Province (ISWAP), PRNigeria reported on December 1.
According to the report, the airstrikes targeted an armoury and training bases of ISWAP located near Lake Chad, specifically at Kayowa, Tumbum Jaki and Tumbun Akawu. Hundreds of ISWAP fighters and commanders were reportedly situated in the targeted positions.
A military source told PRNigeria that said the airstrikes were carried out after a surveillance and reconnaissance mission.
“The locations had earlier been reported by intelligence sources as places where IED [Improvised Explosive Device] factory are located as welding activities concealed under dense vegetation were suspected,” the source said. “During the strike, explosions were observed confirming that there were bomb-making materials at the location.
The unnamed source went on to claim that a number of high-ranking commanders of ISWAP were eliminated in the airstrikes.
Nigeria ordered 12 A-29 Super Tucano warplanes from the US-based Sierra Nevada Corporation in 2018. The warplanes entered service with the NAF in August.
The A-29 was designed to perform intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance missions as well as precision air-to-ground strikes.
The Nigerian military and security forces have been operating nonstop to counter ISWAP influence in the country’s northeastern region. Yet, the terrorist group maintains a strong presence in the region, especially in the states of Borno and Yobe.