The MOAB that was dropped by the US Air Force on a network of ISIS tunnels in Afghanistan killed 36 militants. The bomb is the largest non-nuclear weapon in the United States military arsenal. According to Afghan officials, there were no civilian casualties. The Ministry Of Defense also confirmed that the bomb destroyed a sizable cache of weapons and ammunition in the tunnels. The military headquarters of the US army located in Kabul confirmed that the MOAB was dropped at 7.30 PM local time.
The bomb was targeting a complex network of tunnels in the Nangarhar province that has been used by ISIS in Afghanistan. According to villagers living along the Pakistani and Afghan border, the explosion was terrifying. The villagers said they heard a very loud booming noise. Some residents said that they were sleeping when the bomb hit. Many came out and headed towards the border of Afghanistan to see what was going on. The villagers reported seeing massive smoke in the air at the time. One villager was quoted saying that it felt as if the heavens were falling after the bomb was dropped.
Other villagers also feared for the worse with one man saying that they thought it was an airstrike targeting militant fighters in the area. According to the US intelligence reports, it is believed that there could be up to 800 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan. The US has continued to target the fighters while also providing support and capacity for Afghan forces to help in dealing with the threat. President Trump called the operation “very, very successful.” The MOAB is officially known as the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast and was designed to release nearly 11 tons of explosives once unleashed.
Local health facilities also confirmed that they had not received any wounded people as a result of the Thursday night’s attack. In addition to this, local authorities also confirmed that there were no civilian houses or properties around the area. There was also no immediate response or comment from ISIS or other affiliated terror groups in the region regarding the attack and the scale of its damage on ISIS operations. The US has in recent months stepped up its offensive against ISIS. US troops have been helping Iraqi forces and the government in Baghdad battle ISIS. This latest move to drop the MOAB in Afghanistan signals continued US assault on terrorist targets in the region. The Pentagon has already released a video showing the explosion after the bomb was dropped.
ISIS has been losing considerable territory in Syria, Iraq, and now also Afghanistan. The coalition-led airstrikes in Syria targeting ISIS installations have played a key role in reducing the capabilities of the Islamic terror group. However, ISIS is still a threat to US forces operating in the region. Even though we may not see another MOAB dropped in the near future, there is no doubt that US strikes against ISIS will continue until a time where the terror group is no more.