13 April 13, 2017
‘At 7:32 p.m. local time today, U.S. Forces Afghanistan conducted a strike on an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan tunnel complex in Achin district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, as part of ongoing efforts to defeat ISIS-K in Afghanistan’, according to a U.S. Forces Afghanistan news release
ISIS-K, also known as the Korasan group, is based in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and is composed primarily of former members of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban.
The strike used a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb dropped from a U.S. aircraft. The strike was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximizing the destruction of ISIS-K fighters and facilities.
“As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using [improvised bombs], bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense,” said Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan. “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”
U.S. forces took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties with this strike and will continue offensive operations until ISIS-K is destroyed in Afghanistan, ‘ as per the statement released today evening by United States Department of Defense in Washington.
‘The Independent reports ‘The Pentagon said the strike was the first time the 21,000lb weapon had been used in combat operations. A spokesperson for the US Department of Defence confirmed to The Independent that a MC-130 aircraft dropped a GBU-43 bomb at 7pm local time.
US air strikes ‘kill 18 women and children’ in Afghanistan, UN says
The weapon is known in the US Air Force by its nickname MOAB, or “mother of all bombs”. MOAB stands for massive ordinance air blast.
The ‘mother of all bombs’ was developed and tested shortly before the 2003 Iraq war.
A source said Donald Trump may have authorised the use of the bomb but he does not have to. There has been no official confirmation of the President’s involvement in the strike reported by ‘The Independent’.
‘CNN’ reported ‘A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), nicknamed the “mother of all bombs,” was dropped at 7:32 pm local time Thursday, the sources said. A MOAB is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition that is America’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb.
The bomb was dropped by an MC-130 aircraft, stationed in Afghanistan and operated by Air Force Special Operations Command, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump told CNN.
‘Fox News’ reported ‘For comparison to the 21,000-pound MOAB, each Tomahawk cruise missile launched at a Syrian military air base last week was 1,000-pounds each.
The strike came just days after a Green Beret was killed fighting ISIS in Nangarhar, however, a U.S. defense official told Fox News the bombing had nothing to do with that casualty.
“It was the right weapon for the right target, and not in retaliation,” the official told ‘Fox News’.