The results of Thursday’s “mother of all bombs” are in — 36 Islamic State militants were killed, several Islamic State caves and ammunition caches were destroyed, and no civilians were lost, according to reports by the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense on Friday.
The Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB) was dropped by the U.S. military on an ISIS tunnel complex in the Nangarhar Province, which is close to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.
Ismail Shinwari, the governor of the Achin district, confirmed that the United States carried out its strike in a remote, mountainous region where no civilians reside. He reported that there had been considerable fighting in the area recently between the Afghan forces and ISIS militants.
John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, stated, “As [ISIS’] losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers, and tunnels to thicken their defense. This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against [ISIS].”
The GBU-43B, a 21,000-pound conventional bomb, was brought to Afghanistan “some time ago,” according to Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump. It was first tested in 2003, but not used in combat until this strike.
Due to its large size, the MOAB was dropped out of the back of a U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo plane. It then exploded in the air, creating air pressure that causes tunnels and other structures to collapse. One of its purposes is to kick-start an offensive by softening up the enemy through diluting both its infrastructure and morale.
Hakim Khan, a 50-year-old resident of the area in which the bombing occurred, applauded the attack on ISIS and stated, “I want 100 times more bombings on this group.”
It is estimated that between 600 to 800 ISIS fighters are currently in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar, according to the U.S. troops that have focused heavily on fighting this enemy in conjunction with supporting Afghan forces battling the Taliban.
In August 2016, a group of about 150 Army Rangers reportedly killed “hundreds” of ISIS fighters in Nangarhar. Five rangers were shot, and some weapons and equipment were left behind.
A Green Beret was killed fighting ISIS in Nangarhar just days ago. However, a U.S. defense official told Fox News that the Thursday strike was not in response to that casualty.
“It was the right weapon for the right target, and not in retaliation,” the official noted.
President Trump said Thursday that he gave the military total authorization and that “this was another successful mission.”
See a report about the MOAB from Fox News below:
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