It turns out that the decision to drop the largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed was reached by US forces in Afghanistan. A statement made by the top U.S. military commander revealed that Washington did not call in the MOAB strike.
The statement was made on Friday by Gen. John Nicholson who said that the strike in which the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, was dropped on caves and tunnels used by the militants was part of a larger initiative to clear Afghanistan of the Islamic State fighters this year.
Nicholson pointed out that the U.S. has been conducting offensive operations into Southern Nangarhar since March. Hundreds of Islamic State-Khorasan Province fighters are reported to be holed up in the eastern province.
The operation faced an extensive obstacle for the first time since the militants had taken over a network of tunnels and caves in Nangarhar province. The base was used by the militants to attack Afghan and U.S. forces involved in Operation Hamza.
The militants had also planted a belt of IEDs surrounding the caves. Nicholson said that it made it difficult to overtake the area. One of the offensive operations that took place around the area claimed a Special Forces soldier.
Reports from an Afghan Defense Ministry official indicated that a 30-foot-long munition with 11 tons of explosives, overwhelmed the militants camp killing 36 fighters and destroying a large number of weapons.
Shortly after the bomb was deployed many people raised questions as to whether the operation might have been directed from Washington as a show of force. However, Nicholson’s comments indicated that was not the case.
Nicholson indicated that the bomb was used in tactically, at the right time and against the right target on the battlefield. The strike enabled the forces to resume their offensive operations.
Abdullah Abdullah who is the Afghanistan’s chief executive praised the strike on Twitter by saying that the Joint nature of the operation shows the common resolve to eliminate ISIS.