Washington, Apr 14: The United States of America late on Thursday night dropped a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), the largest non-nuclear device in its arsenal.
This bomb, popularly known as the “mother of all bombs” was dropped on a network of caves and tunnels used by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin district of Nagarhar province in eastern Afghanistan.
President Donald Trump touted the bombing as evidence of a more muscular U.S. foreign policy since he took office in January after eight years of President Barack Obama.
According to a statement released by United States Forces – Afghanistan HQ at Kabul, the forces conducted a strike on an ISIS-K tunnel complex as a part of ongoing efforts to defeat ISIS-K in Afghanistan.
The release cited General John W. Nicholson, Commander of the US Forces in Afghanistan: “They (ISIS) are using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defence. This is the right munition (MOAB) to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”
A CNN journalist situated in Afghanistan, Masoud Popalzai, around 36 ISIS fighters have been killed with no civilian causality.
The GBU-43, also known as the "mother of all bombs," is a GPS-guided munition that was first tested in March 2003. It is regarded as particularly effective against clusters of targets on or just underneath the ground. Other types of bombs can be more effective against deeper, hardened tunnels. It is the first time that USA has used this size of conventional bomb in a conflict.
Trump described the bombing as a “very successful mission.” It was not immediately clear how much damage the device did.
The security situation remains precarious in Afghanistan, with a number of militant groups trying to claim territory more than 15 years after the U.S. invasion which toppled the Taliban government.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the bombing “targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely, making it easier for them to target U.S. military advisers and Afghan forces in the area.”
He described the bomb as “a large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon,” saying that U.S. forces took “all precautions necessary to prevent civilian casualties and collateral damage.”