The Legitimate Desk
At least 36 suspected Islamic state militants were killed in Afghanistan when US dropped “Mother of All Bombs”.
The bomb was dropped in the eastern district of Achin in Nangahar Province on Thursday.
The reports said that at least 36 ISIS militants got killed in the offensive. “Up to 36 suspected Islamic state militants were killed in this strike, the Afghan defense Ministry confirmed on Friday.
US officials say intelligence inputs suggest that ISIL is based overwhelmingly in Nangahar and neighboring Kunnar Province. The middle east based outfit announced the establishment of its Khorasan branch (an old name of Afghanistan) and surrounding areas in Jan 2015. It was the first time that ISIL had officially confirmed its expansion outside the Arab world.
Afghan forces have been targeting ISIL in Nangahar for two weeks. ISIL has steadily lost territory and fighters to US air strikes and an assault by Afghan forces on ground. Using 20,000 pound bomb that cost $16 million, the bomb was first time used in combat by the US.
MOAB strike followed last week’s death of US Special Forces soldier fighting ISIL in Nangarhar. While opening his daily briefing White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said, “We targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move freely, making it easier for them to target US military advisers and Afghan forces in the area”.
He also said that “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”.
During the years of intense fighting the US dropped a handful of similar bombs to destroy caves believed to be used by Taliban and Alqaeda.
President United States, Donald Trump told reporters at White House: “We are very proud of our army. We have given them total authorization, and that’s what they are doing and that’s why they have been so successful”.