‘THE ‘MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS’ 
US ‘kills 36 ISIS fighters’ after dropping 21,000lb MOAB bomb – the largest ever non-nuclear weapon that can kill all within 300metres – on caves in Afghanistan
Military sources say the bomb had to be ‘kicked out’ the back of a US Air Force MC-130 cargo plane due to its colossal size
THE US has dropped the military’s largest non-nuclear weapon  – nicknamed the ‘Mother Of All Bombs’ –  on ISIS caves in Afghanistan killing 36 jihadi fighters.
The 21,000lb GBU-43/B, containing 11 tons of explosives, was deployed for the first time in combat to destroy a complex of caves and tunnels hiding ISIS ants.
TWITTER / U.S. AIR FORCE
The GBU-43/B heads towards its target carrying 11 tons of explosives
The huge explosion as the bomb destroys the stronghold in Afghanistan
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, aka, the ‘Mother Of All Bombs’
U.S. Air Force drops the MOAB bomb, destroy ing the Khorasan group stronghold in Afghanistan
Afghani officials have now revealed the attack left 36 fighters dead and not one civilian casualty.
The local Ministry of Defence said in a statement that several ISIS caves and ammunition caches were destroyed.
“I want a hundred times more bombings on this group,” said Hakim Khan, 50, a resident of Achin district in Nangarhar province where the bombing took place.
The US military headquarters in Kabul said the bomb was dropped at about 4pm UK time on a tunnel complex Nangarhar, where the Afghan affiliate of the ISIS has been operating.
The target was close to the Pakistani border and some Pakistan residents nearby said they heard the explosion.
How they drop the ‘Mother’
The US estimates 600 to 800 IS fighters are present in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar.
It has concentrated heavily on combating them while also supporting Afghan forces battling the Taliban.
President Donald Trump called the operation a “very, very successful mission.”
The Air Force calls it the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, nicknamed “Mother Of All Bombs”, which was used to “reduce IS obstacles and maintain the momentum against jihadists in the region”.
It can kill everyone within 300 metres of the drop site.
Today US President Donald Trump hailed the mission as “very, very successful.”
The explosion was the biggest I have ever seen. Towering flames engulfed the area.
Achin District GovernorEsmail Shinwari
It was the first time the United States has used this size of bomb against an enemy.
The MOAB left behind a crater thought to be more than 300 meters wide after it exploded six feet above the ground.
District governor of where the bomb hit, Esmail Shinwari, said: “The explosion was the biggest I have ever seen. Towering flames engulfed the area.
“We don’t know anything about the casualties so far, but since it is a Daesh (IS) stronghold we think a lot of Daesh fighters may have been killed.”
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US military drops ‘Mother of All Bombs’ on ISIS targets in Afghanistan
Speaking at the White House, Trump told of his pride over the mission – after vowing to “bomb the s**t” out of ISIS when he was running for President.
He said: “That was really another successful job — we are very, very proud of our military.
“What I do is authorise my military.
“We have the greatest military in the world and they have got it done as usual. We have given them total authorisation.
“That is why they have been so successful lately.”
REUTERS
A US Air Force plane releases an MOAB explosive device test in 2003
Archive footage shows the bomb being dropped
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the bomb was used on “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”.
He added: “The United States takes the fight very seriously and in order to defeat the group we must deny them operations space, which we did.
The United States takes the fight very seriously and in order to defeat the group we must deny them operations space, which we did.
White House Press SecretarySean Spicer
“The United States took all precautions necessary to prevent civilian casualties as a result of the operation.”
Mr Spicer declined to comment on whether or not the US would consider using it on North Korea in the future.
He also refused to say whether or not President Trump personally authorised the use of the device.
GETTY IMAGES
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the US ‘takes the fight very seriously’
GETTY IMAGES
It’s not known whether or not President Trump personally authorised the use of the device
In a statement US Central Command said that the bomb was dropped at 7.32pm local time in Achin district, Nangarhar province in Eastern Afghanistan.
The statement said that the “strike was designed to minimise the risk to Afghan and US Forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximising the destruction of ISIS fighters and facilities”.
It’s a concussive blast. Everyone in the area is obliterated, ears are bleeding, or they’re completely destroyed.
Military Source
When unleashed, the 30ft weapon causes a huge shockwave after the explosion – collapsing tunnels and killing everyone within hundreds of metres.
One official said: “It’s a concussive blast. Everyone in the area is obliterated, ears are bleeding, or they’re completely destroyed.”
It’s believed the Afghan government was aware of the US plan to bomb the IS tunnel complex.
Presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi said on Facebook: “Heavy casualties have been inflicted on the enemy.”
What is a MOAB bomb?
·         The bomb is known officially as a GBU-43B or massive ordnance air blast weapon.
·         Based on the acronym, it has been nicknamed the “Mother Of All Bombs.”
·         The weapon weighs 21,000lbs, unleashes 11 tons of explosives, is more than 30ft long and made of aluminium.
·         It was rapidly developed in the early 2000s around the time of the US-led invasion of Iraq.
·         The bomb is deployed using a parachute and uses four grid shaped fins and GPS positioning to hit the target.
·         The Pentagon did a formal review of legal justification for its combat use.
·         The GBU-43/B is the largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat.
·         The first time it was ever used in warfare was in a US Air Force attack on April 13 2017 when it was dropped on a cave complex believed to be used by ISIS fighters in the Achin district of Nangarhar province in Aghanistan.
·         It has a two-stage detonation powered by H6 explosive.
·         The first blast spreads highly flammable aluminum dust, while the second is the baric blast.
·         It sucks oxygen out from cave tunnels before quickly becoming a shock wave.
·         If you are within the blast radius it is most likely you will be vapourised, but those who escape with their lives will suffer massive internal damage to the ears, lungs and stomach.
·         Each bomb costs around £12.8 million
General John W. Nicholson, Commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, said: “As ISIS losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defence.
“This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS.”
The army targeted the Achin district of Nangarhar province five days after US Special Forces Staff Sergeant Mark De Alencar was reportedly killed by ISIS in the area.
US ARMY
Army Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar was killed Saturday when his unit came under fire in eastern Afghanistan
REUTERS
A Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, explodes November 21, 2003 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
Military sources say the bomb had to be “kicked” out the back of a US Air Force MC-130 cargo plane due to its colossal size.
“We kicked it out the back door,” one U.S. official told Fox News.
REUTERS
This was the first test of the 21,000-pound MOAB explosive device nicknamed the mother of all bombs
The GBU-43 is a 21,600 pound GPS-guided munition and was first tested in March 2003 – just days before the start of the Iraq war.
General John Nicholson, who heads US Forces Afghanistan, described the weapon as the “right munition” to reduce IS obstacles and maintain the momentum against jihadists in the region.
The US military had tested the bomb for a decade and had been waiting for an appropriate target to deploy it.
How does an MOAB bomb compare to a nuclear weapon?
IT has been dubbed the mother of all bombs, but is the GBU-43/B really more powerful than a nuclear weapon?
The MOAB is hailed as America’s most powerful non-nuke. But despite the fact it will kill everyone within 300metres, the MOAB is nowhere near as dangerous as atomic bombs, with only a yield blast of 0.011 KT. In fact the level of damage caused by a nuclear weapon and an MOAB differs by a factor of 1,000. However, the pair do a share a blast radius of around one mile. Nuclear bombs release nuclear radition and heat, which produces a much larger amount of energy. Some research shows that a single, small nuclear bomb releases as much energy as 40,000 non-nuclear bombs like the MOAB. Conventional bombs are weaker because they only have a chemical reaction when set off. The 1.2 megaton B-83 is one of the largest nukes in the current US arsenal. Just milliseconds after detonation 19,000 pounds of highly complex explosive enegry is released – causing a barometric shock. Known as ‘overpressure’ the shock moves at the speed of sound away from ground zero.
The bombing sent a powerful message to President Trump’s foes in Russia and North Korea – which is said to be on the verge of a sixth nuclear test.
Russia constructed a device four times as powerful as the MOAB in 2007 but President Putin is yet to use it in combat.
REX FEATURES
ir Force workers preparing the Massive Ordnance Air Blast weapon for testing
GETTY IMAGES
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tells reporters the US military on Thursday dropped what is considered to be the largest non-nuclear bomb on an Islamic State complex in Afghanistan
CNN reported that it had secretly been stored in Afghanistan and would have been deployed from a C-130 Hercules military cargo aircraft.
The bomb is so heavy it is essentially pushed out the back.
Video of the MOAB being tested in 2003 shows a huge mushroom cloud going up into the air after one of the blasts.
GETTY IMAGES
Successful testing of GBU-43 bomb at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
Military analyst Col Rick Francona said that it would “feel like a nuclear weapon to those in the area”.
He said: “The pressure would send shockwaves through the tunnel systems and would kill everyone in the tunnels.”
Col Francona said that anyone in a range of “hundreds of metres” would be killed.
AP:ASSOCIATED PRESS
Donald Trump is yet to comment on the mother of all bombs being dropped in Afghanistan
US forces have conducted a number of air strikes on jihadist bases in the area since August last year.
IS, notorious for its reign of terror in Syria and Iraq, has been making inroads into Afghanistan in recent years.
It has attracted disaffected members of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban as well as Uzbek Islamists.
But the group has been steadily losing territory in the face of heavy pressure both from US air strikes and a ground offensive led by Afghan forces.
The Islamic State group’s strength in Afghanistan has fallen to 600 to 800 fighters from 3,000 in early 2016, NATO has said, adding that it killed the top 12 IS commanders in the country last year.
How is the MOAB launched?
·         The ‘mother of all bombs’ has special ‘grid’ fins that open up in flight to help control its descent to land.
·         Due to its size – 30ft long and 40 inches wide – it can only be launched from the back of a large cargo plane and sits on a special ‘pallet’.
·         On launch, it drops out of the plane with a parachute and ‘rides’ on the pallet until the two separate – and the bomb drops on its target.
·         It is guided onto its target via satellite and explodes 6ft above the ground – creating an ‘airburst’ explosion effect.


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