The United States military has attacked ISIS basements in Afghanistan with one of the most powerful non-nuclear bombs. US officials said that this is the first time they have used this kind of weapon, nicknamed the “mother of all bombs”.
The mother of all bombs is technically referred to as GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB) and was dropped in the basements at around 1932 local time. The MOAB weighs 21,600 pounds at a height of 30 feet long and is GPS guided.
The US President referred to this yet another successful operation. He spoke to reporters in which he said that the country is proud of its military.
The MC-130 aircraft, stationed in Afghanistan, was used to drop the bomb. Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said that the aircraft is under the operation of Air Force Special Operations Command.
A look into the Obama Era
Mr Trump said that the operation managed to give the terrorists full authorization.
“We have the greatest military in the world…We have given them total authorization…If you look at what’s happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really with what’s happened over the last eight years, you’ll see there’s a tremendous difference. Tremendous difference,” he said.
The NBC reported that the military does need presidential ascend to use this weapon.
Donald Trump has given extended freedom to the military to act independently in battlefields where the US is involved. This, as Trump sees it, is a “tremendous difference” and will go a long way in helping finish off the ISIS.
Throughout the campaign era, Mr. Trump vowed that he would finish off ISIS, promising to use all means possible to kill the group.
According to Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, the weapon is “large, powerful and accurate”.
He added that the US considers its war against ISIS a serious matter. He didn’t take press questions to explain what may have triggered the strike.
Speculation has it that the terrifying massive blast may have been used to send a message to the Afghan-based ISIS.
There is no immediate data showing the number of ISIS fighters killed in the attack and whether civilians were also caught up in the operation. Military officials said that they observed precautions to ensure minimum civilian casualties.
Gen. John W. Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement that because “ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense.”
He continued to explain that this is the sort of munitions needed to break through the blocks and ensure the strikes are successful.
Response to the attack
Among the first to respond to attack was former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai who expressed strong opposition to the bomb usage.
“I vehemently and in strongest words condemn the dropping of the latest weapon, the largest non-nuclear #bomb, on Afghanistan by US…1/2,” read his tweet.
Republican hawks also weighed in to the attack, expressing their support for it.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said that “there’s a new sheriff in town” and that he was pleased “Air Force dropped MOAB against ISIL in Afghanistan. …must be more aggressive against ISIL everywhere – including Afghanistan.”
But the Democrats seemed to disagree, with California Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier raising concerns that the US is getting involved in an area it should be letting go of.
The use has for the first time used a MOAB in the battlefield. The initial development of the weapon was aimed at profiting the Iraq war. They had hoped that the MOAB’s blast would be so huge that the Iraqi troops would be coerced into surrendering.
It explodes at 18,000 pounds but its power is nothing compared to a nuclear bomb.
“The MOAB explosive yield is 0.011 kilotons, typical nuclear yield is 10-180 kilotons – the US alone possesses over 7000 nuclear weapons,” read a tweet from former Defense Secretary William Perry explaining the difference between the two.