Sunday 24 September 2017

US drops 'Mother Of All Bombs' on jihadists in Afghan caves

A US Air Force file image of the GBU-43B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb in an undisclosed location. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A US Air Force file image of the GBU-43B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb in an undisclosed location. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Nick Allen in Washington

DONALD TRUMP sent a clear message to the world by dropping the largest non-nuclear bomb the US has ever used in combat, a device known as the "Mother Of All Bombs", on Isil forces in Afghanistan.

Officially known as the Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, the huge 21,600-pound (9,800kg) payload was targeted at a complex of caves and tunnels the terrorist group used in the east of the country.

The show of force was a signal to US enemies including Syria, North Korea and Iran that the White House is prepared to take actions from which previous administrations refrained.

An MOAB was first tested in 2003, days before the start of the Iraq war, but it was never used by presidents George W Bush or Barack Obama.

The MOAB, also known as the GBU-43B, was dropped from a US Air Force MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan, at 7.32pm local time.

The US military said it did everything possible to avoid civilian casualties and collateral damage.

A damage assessment was being carried out. Army General John W Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, said the strike was designed to minimise the risk to Afghan and US forces conducting clearing operations in the Achin area "while maximising the destruction" of Isil fighters and facilities.

US President Trump said: "We are so proud of our military. It was another successful event."

Telegraph.co.uk

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