24 April, 2017, 05:26 | Author: Kristopher Anderson
The top US military commander in Afghanistansaid on Friday that the decision to deploy one of the largest conventional bombs ever used in combat was purely tactical, and made as part of the campaign against Islamic State-linked fighters.
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The massive bomb was dropped after fighting intensified over the past week and US-backed ground forces struggled to advance on the area. Those figures were likely gleaned from a misreading of an Los Angeles Times article about a different bomb, and a questionable military asset website, TheDCNF reported Thursday. If seen in conjunction with reports that Indian helicopters are taking part in combat operations in Afghanistan, one can easily understand the emerging regional scenario.
"If you want to destroy and eliminate Daesh, then even if you destroy my home we won't complain, because they are not human beings, they are savages", said Mir Alam Shinwari, using an Arabic term for Islamic State.
The commander for United States forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, defended the use of the bomb and confirmed the target of the strike was the network of tunnels that ISIS fighters use to move around and protect themselves from Afghan and USA forces.
It wasn't clear Friday whether Trump also ordered the Afghan strike, but Nicholson said he has been given some "latitude" in operational control.
Marc Garlasco, a former Pentagon official in charge of high-value targets, told the Intercept that the Pentagon considered using the bomb in 2003, but decided against it because "the civilian harm greatly outweighed the military gain". Achin is separated from Pakistan by a range of high mountains, one of the areas where Taliban and al Qaida fighters fled when the United States first intervened in the country in late 2001.
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"Everybody knows exactly what happened, so, and what I do is I authorize my military", he told reporters. But not all of the US' allies agreed with the use of the MOAB.
MOAB - that was dropped by the US on Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Afghanistan on April 13 weighs 21,700 pounds, is GPS-guided and is ideal for destroying cave complexes like those ISIS jihadists hide out in on the Afghan-Pakistan border.
A colossal U.S. bomb dropped Thursday on ISIS tunnels in eastern Afghanistan killed 36 militants, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.
Karzai said he planned to "stand against America", a stance he compared to decisions earlier in his life to fight against the Soviets and later the Taliban regime. "When will we learn that only love stops hate, and bombings only create more ISIS?".
President Trump did not say much about the blast that has captivated the world other than it was "a very, very successful mission". An American special forces soldier was killed last Saturday in Nangarhar while conducting anti-IS operations.
A local resident living around two kilometers (1.5 miles) from the blast told CNN he heard an "extremely loud boom that smashed the windows of our house".
According to The National Interest magazine, despite its smaller volume, the Russian bomb is four times more powerful than its American counterpart.
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