Trump drops biggest weapon since Nagasaki on Afghanistan
Mail Foreign Service
DONALD Trump last night dropped the world’s largest ever non-nuclear bomb in combat. Nicknamed the Mother Of All Bombs, the 21,600lb device was deployed by the US military to destroy a complex of caves and tunnels hiding Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan, the White House said. The crater left by the blast is believed to be more than 980ft wide and anyone at the site would have been vaporised.
The bomb, a ‘thermobaric’ weapon, is designed to explode six feet above the ground, setting the air on fire and sucking all the oxygen from the surrounding air to set off an exceptionally long blast wave with a one-mile radius.
It would destroy anything up to 200ft underground, collapsing caves and tunnels and setting off miniature earthquakes.
The US military had the bomb ready to use for more than a decade and had been waiting for an appropriate target to deploy it.
The timing of yesterday’s attack will fuel fears that the world is becoming a more dangerous place now that Mr Trump is in the White House.
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This marks the fulfilment of an election campaign promise in which Trump scoffed at IS fighters and said he “would bomb the s*** out of them” if he became president.
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast – better known as MOAB, from which its nickname is inspired – contains the equivalent of 11 tons of TNT and costs around $16million to manufacture.
It was reportedly moved to Afghanistan in secret and dropped from a Hercules military cargo aircraft because it is so large.
The 30ft aluminum bomb is so heavy it is deployed using a parachute, and has four fins for steering and GPS positioning to hit the target.
The blast – the largest since the nuclear explosions that devastated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 – would ‘feel like a nuclear weapon to those in the area’, according to military analyst Colonel Rick Francona.
He added: “The pressure would send shockwaves through the tunnel systems and would kill everyone in the tunnels.”
Anyone in a range of “hundreds of metres” would be killed.
Bill Roggio, of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, said: “It’s a way to get into areas where conventional bombs can’t reach.”
MOAB — THE MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS
The GBU-43, otherwise known as the Mother of All Bombs, or MOAB unleashes a devastating fireball that incinerates anything within 30 feet when it first detonates.
In the milliseconds following the initial blast, all the oxygen would have been sucked out of the tunnels and for hundreds of feet around, literally sucking the life out of terrorists, suffocating them as their lungs imploded.
Then, in a flash the fiery shockwave would have blasted outwards at the speed of sound for up to a mile, causing huge concussive injuries to anyone caught in its path, essentially smashing them to death, while at the same time leveling buildings and trees.
Ears would have been left bleeding and internal organs battered by the staggering force of the blast.
Anyone caught inside the tunnels would have been crushed as the force of 19,000 pounds of highly complex explosives caused them to collapse on the ISIS terrorists.
Anyone left alive would have been shocked and left in awe by the ferocity of the blast – the psychological scars staying with them forever.
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It was reported that the US military would inspect the blast site today to see if it was effective. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the bomb was used on “a system of tunnels and caves that IS fighters used to move around freely, making it easier for them to target US military advisers and Afghan forces in the area”.
He added: ‘The US takes the fight very seriously and in order to defeat the group we must deny them operations space, which we did. “The US took all precautions necessary to prevent civilian casualties as a result of the operation.”
Speaking at the White House, President Trump said he was “very very proud” of the bombers who carried out the mission. He added he had given the military “total authorisation” to use whatever measures they deemed necessary to fight IS, indicating he did not sign off on it personally.
US Central Command said in a statement that the bomb was dropped at 7.32pm local time in Achin district, Nangarhar province in Eastern Afghanistan.
The statement said the “strike was designed to minimise the risk to Afghan and US forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximising the destruction of IS fighters and facilities.”
General John Nicholson, commander of the US Forces in Afghanistan, said: “As IS losses have mounted, they are using improvised explosive devices, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense.
“This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against IS.”
The use of the huge bomb comes a week after Mr Trump increased tensions with Russia after authorising the bombing of a Syrian air base to punish the regime of Bashar al-Assad after a chemical weapons attack.
Mr Trump is also considering a tougher line against North Korea as it continues to test intermediate range ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. Last week he warned: “If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.”
The President said yesterday he did not know if the MOAB attack would send a message to North Korea but it “doesn’t make any difference if it did or not”.
The last MOAB test was on March 11, 2003 and it was originally developed as a non-nuclear deterrent against former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The Military times reported that yesterday’s strike came days after US soldier Sgt Mark De Alencar was killed in Nangarhar province while conducting anti-Is operations.
It has been claimed that the Russian Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power, or ATBIP, known as the Father Of all Bombs, is four times as powerful as the MOAB, making it the most powerful non-nuclear device in the world. However it has only been tested and not deployed in combat.