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Why US 'Mother of All Bombs' Strike is 'Political Challenge'

© REUTERS / The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb. (File)
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb. (File) - Sputnik International
The US dropped a 22,000-pound GBU-43 bomb dubbed "the Mother of All Bombs" from a MC-130 plane in Nangarhar Province, targeting underground facilities and a system of tunnels used by terrorists. Sputnik takes a look at the reaction of Afghans to this recent attack.

Sputnik was informed by a source in the Afghan Defense Ministry that the strike was coordinated with the authorities of Afghanistan. “Yes, the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan within the framework of the anti-terrorist campaign was aware of the US use of the GBU-43,” the source said.

A combination of still images taken from a video released by the U.S. Department of Defense on April 14, 2017 shows (clockwise) the explosion of a MOAB, or mother of all bombs, when it struck the Achin district of the eastern province of Nangarhar, Afghanistan - Sputnik International
US 'Mother of All Bombs' Strike in Afghanistan Kills Over 80 Militants
He further said that the exact number of the slayed militants is still being specified and it is premature to talk about casualties among civilians at present.

“The exact figure of the liquidated militants is not yet clear. The information is being updated. It is premature to talk about losses among civilians,” the source said.

Earlier it was reported that, as a result of the US attack, at least 36 Daesh militants were killed, according to AFP.

Sputnik Dari takes a look at the reaction of Afghan social media users to the recent bombing by the US.

“Where else should military experiments take place if not in Afghanistan and Syria? The Syrians were even less fortunate, they were poisoned with chemical weapons….However, they would have experienced a powerful bomb there too but the presence of Russia on guard of the Syrian people helped in avoiding this threat…. In Afghanistan, however, the authorities are held for donkeys and the population for sheep – on our territory, one can do randomness and it is not necessary to ask any of us,” Hakim Sadat, an Afghan, expressed his indignation on his Facebook page.

Another Afghan, Qais Duranai said, “We have now been turned into a testing ground for lethal weapons.”

“It is fashionable to advertise Daesh as a powerful force, which cannot be simply destroyed. To combat it you need a powerful weapon. Or is it an advertisement of a powerful weapon? Consequences can be depressing,” Wahid Rahimi said.

File Photo from US Air Force of the GBU-43 Bomb - Sputnik International
MOAB Strike in Afghanistan Conducted Without Trump's Approval - US Commander
Hussein Akbari, a resident of Kabul  said that eliminating Daesh and their leaders of all that is idle talk, nothing more.

“We are dealing with dramatization because Americans use not only bombs for their own purposes but also terrorists, who become targets of bombing. But in general… our country will not last long serving as a scene of clashes of great powers. At such a rate, it will simply be driven into the ground,” Akbari said.

“Damn the US and its unofficial army Daesh,” Naveed, Afghan national said.

Sergey Demidenko is an associate professor at the Institute of Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. In a comment for Sputnik, Demidenko said that this event should not be regarded as something particularly conspicuous in the “Afghan-American theater of political events.”

“This event should be deliberated more widely – as a political challenge, which we are now witnessing in the context of US relations with other countries. In connection with the specifics of the position of the entire administration of Donald Trump on the domestic political situation, the new American president is making extraordinary efforts to erode the image of a politically controlled politician,” Demidenko said.

The professor further said that all that is seen currently in Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea is packed quite clearly into one scheme – “strengthening the image of the American president.”

“Therefore, individual events [bombings] are a blow to the image of the politician [Trump], allegedly led to power by the Russian administration and the Kremlin hackers.

Most likely, in the near future we will see such similar actions of the US but it is necessary to clearly understand that these attacks are opportunistic and promotional. It is however, unlikely that they will have far-reaching global and effective consequences,” Demidenko concluded.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) is a large-yield conventional non-nuclear bomb considered to be the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever developed at the time of its creation. The cost of a single MOAB is $16 million.

This was the first time the bomb was dropped in combat. It has been in service since 2003.

US President Donald Trump declined to say whether he personally authorized the weapon’s use on Thursday, but said that he had expanded the authority of US generals to carry out attacks on Daesh as they see fit.

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