Yusuf Bello| The multinational joint task force (MNJTF) says it has killed Khalifa Umar, a high ranking commander in the Islamic State, West African Province (ISWAP).
The Task Force said in a statement that the influential commander of the terror group was “eliminated” during an airborne attack on one of the insurgents’ hideout on a Lake Chad community known as Tunbums Sabo.
According to the statement by Timothy Antigha, MNJTF spokesperson, Khalifa Umar was killed during an “ongoing offensive operations against the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and other purveyors of violence and instability in the Lake Chad Basin.”
Antigha, a colonel, said “the Air Task Force of the MNJTF neutralized Amir Khalifa Umar who was the third-ranking commander in ISWAP leadership.
“He was neutralized in an air interdiction conducted yesterday in Tunbum Sabon.”
“Khalifa Umar was a High-Value Target considering that he was also the Chief Judge of ISWAP, ” Antigha said.
In another different “airstrike, carried out in the Kwalaram axis, the MNJTF spokesman said, “three other senior commanders of ISWAP were also neutralized.”
Antigha said he would be providing more details “on the full Battle Damage Assessment later.
Last week, MNJTF said it carried out airstrikes on “ISWAP training camp and mustering area in Tumbun Madayi” during which “several terrorists and their commanders who gathered for training or an attack were neutralized or maimed.”
He said an assessment carried out after the airstrike indicated that “a sizeable ISWAP terror infrastructure was destroyed.”
The MNJTF has not published the photograph of the body of the ISWAP commander. But the death of the number three ISWAP, if confirmed, would be a significant achievement in the counterinsurgency war.