Niger, Chad Start Offensive Against Boko Haram

Hundreds of soldiers from Niger and Chad have just launched an offensive against Islamic militants Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria at the Nigeria-Niger border, according to Shoebat.com.

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, and several other countries also have pledged to help, CBCNews reported.

This attack was 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 [Chad and Niger] 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.”

Just this Saturday and Sunday Nigerian air force fighters launched attacks on key Boko Haram positions. Major General Chris Olukolade, Nigerian director of defense 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.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQv5x_2yR6c&w=660&h=415]

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.

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.”

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. Boko Haram has been responsible for the slaughter of thousands of civilians in Nigeria and international infamy for the kidnapping of school girls for sex slavery.

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, Ted Shoebat said.

For more details, go to Shoebat.