Thursday, April 13, 2017

U.S "the mother of all bombs"

'Very, very proud': US drops the 'mother of all bombs' on Afghan IS

The "mother of all bombs" at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. (AP: Eglin Air Force Base)

The United States dropped "the mother of all bombs" in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday against a series of caves used by Islamic State militants.

The massive GBU-43 bomb is the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat and the first time the United States has used this size of bomb in a conflict, the US military said.

In the wake of the bombing, US President Donald Trump said he was proud the military had carried out "another successful job".

"Very, very proud of the people. A brilliant, another successful job," President Trump told the press after the bomb was dropped.

"We're very, very prod of our military. Just like we're proud of the folks in this room.

"We are so proud of our military."

When asked whether he personally authorised the bomb to be dropped, the president said, "Everybody knows exactly what happened and what I do is I authorise my military.

"We have the greatest military in the world and they have done a job as usual."

The bomb was dropped from a MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.
Also known as the "mother of all bombs," the GBU-43 is a 9797 kg GPS-guided munition and was first tested in March 2003, just days before the start of the Iraq war.

A single bomb costs AU $21 million with $414.5 million spent on its development.

The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious, with a number of militant groups trying to claim territory more than 15 years after the US invasion which toppled the Taliban government.

General John Nicholson, the head of US and international forces in Afghanistan, said the bomb was used against caves and bunkers housing fighters of the Islamic State in Afghanistan, also known as ISIS-K.

It was not immediately clear how much damage the device did.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer opened his daily news briefing speaking about the use of the bomb and said, "We targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely, making it easier for them to target US military advisers and Afghan forces in the area."

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

"The United States takes the fight against ISIS very seriously and in order to defeat the group, we must deny them operational space, which we did," Spicer said.

He said the bomb was used at around 7 pm local time and described the device as "a large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon." The United States took "all precautions necessary to prevent civilian casualties and collateral damage," he said.


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