Published: Wed, April 19, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

No need for Trump's approval to use massive bomb

No need for Trump's approval to use massive bomb

"The number of Daesh fighters killed in the US bomb in Achin district jumped to 94, including four commanders", Nangarhar provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogiani told CNN.

Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said no civilians were harmed in the massive blast that targeted the network of caves and tunnels, which had been heavily mined.

The provincial government said Saturday that 94 ISIS militants including four leaders of the terror group were killed in the airstrike and no casualties were incurred to the local residents.

In another dramatic show of military force after the bombing of a Syrian airfield with 59 Tomahawk missiles, the U.S. military on Thursday dropped a GBU-43/B, colloquially known as the "Mother Of All Bombs" or MOAB, to target tunnels and bunkers built by Islamic State fighter in Nangarhar province.

For four weeks prior to the bombing, Afghan special forces tried to penetrate the area, but they were unsuccessful due to the hard terrain and a belt of improvised explosive devises planted by ISIS fighters, Gen. Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for Afghanistan's Defense Ministry said.

At least 90 militants of the Islamic State were killed in Afghanistan after the US Army dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb GBU-43.

Military officials said then they hoped such a huge blast would rattle Iraqi troops and pressure them into surrendering or not even fighting.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai "vehemently" condemned the bombing in a series of tweets, describing it as "brutal misuse of our country", while accusing the USA of using Afghanistan as a "testing ground for new and unsafe weapons".

The commander of the U.S. 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 IS fighters use to move around and protect themselves from Afghan and U.S. forces.

An elderly man who lives close to the bombing site in Achin's Momand Dara area said the blast was so piercingly loud that his infant granddaughter was experiencing hearing loss.

Last week, a USA soldier was killed in the same district as where the bomb was dropped while he was conducting operations against Islamic State.

The MOAB has been in service in the United States military since 2003, but Thursday marked the first time the bomb was used in a combat action. His strong words could signal a broader political backlash that may endanger the USA military mission in Afghanistan.

The Afghan presidential palace said precautions were taken to avoid civilian casualties. An American special forces soldier was killed last Saturday in Nangarhar while conducting anti-ISIS operations. I will say this: "I think China has really been working very hard", he said.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's Ambassador to Pakistan, Omar Zakhilwal, slammed the USA bombing in a series of tweets that contradicted the official line take by the Kabul-based administration.

Use of the weapon had nothing to do with sending a message to any other country, including North Korea, the official added.

While Trump's newfound interventionist attitude was welcomed by hawks in his own party and even some opposition figures, Democrat Representative Jackie Speier voiced concerns over increasing United States military involvement in Afghanistan following Thursday's bombing. The U.S. has concentrated on fighting them while also supporting Afghan forces against the Taliban.

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