USA drops 'mother of all bombs' on ISIS
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 14, 2017,
Apr 14, 2017, 14:52
The GBU-43B massive ordnance air blast bomb dropped on Thursday on a network of Islamic State caves in eastern Afghanistan may be the most powerful conventional weapon ever used in combat.
The US on Thursday for the first time used what the military calls the "mother of all bombs", the GBU-43/B to target IS militants hiding in a maze of caves in Afghantistan's hilly terrains.
According to CNN, a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, nicknamed MOAB and also known as the " mother of all bombs" is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided ammunition that is America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb.
It was the first time the bomb, the largest non-nuclear device in the USA arsenal, has been used.
The strike hit a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters had used to "move around freely, making it easier for them to target USA military advisers and Afghan forces" nearby, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters in Washington he was unaware if President Donald Trump approved the military action, but said "we must deny them [IS] operational space, which we did".
Other Twitter users referred to "weapons of mass distraction", with some suggesting the bomb could also be a distraction from the President signing a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. After news that the bomb was dropped on Afghanistan yesterday+, a Pentagon spokesman said it was dropped from a U.S. MC-130 special operations transport plane.
It was not immediately clear how much damage the bomb did but Indian intelligence agencies believe that some of the ISIS's Kerala recruits may have been killed.
"The explosion was the biggest I have ever seen".
One would have thought that the bomb would wipe off the entire IS-held territory but it only killed 36 fighters.
It added to concerns among investors already wary of risks over Syria and North Korea, as well as the outcome of the French presidential election.
Officials said the target was an ISIS cave and tunnel complex and personnel in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province, a remote area in the country's east which borders Pakistan.
The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious, with a number of militant groups trying to claim territory more than 15 years after the United States invasion which toppled the Taliban government. USA and Afghan forces had been unable to advance because ISIS - which has expanded into Afghanistan in recent years - had mined the area with explosives.
"To be totally honest I was ecstatic.it seems like people have forgotten that we are still in Afghanistan, there's still people fighting over there", said Mcghee. It has attracted disaffected members of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban as well as Uzbek Islamists.
But the group has been steadily losing territory in the face of heavy pressure both from U.S. air strikes and a ground offensive led by Afghan forces.