US drops largest ever non-nuclear bomb on Isis affiliate in Afghanistan, military says
The US has dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat on Afghanistan, the US military said on Thursday.
To target what the military described as a “tunnel complex” used by the Islamic State’s Afghanistan affiliate, the US for the first time used what the military colloquially calls the “mother of all bombs”, the GBU-43/B.
Designed for destroying underground targets but not itself a deep-earth penetrator weapon, the GBU-43/B has the explosive yield of more than 11 tons of TNT. The massive bomb is dropped from air force planes and detonates before reaching the ground, resulting in an enormous blast radius. Only the Massive Ordnance Penetrator GBU-57, which has never been used in war, is a larger conventional weapon.
The psychological effect on survivors or observers is considered an added impact of the weapon.
Asked whether he had authorized the bombing, Donald Trump said: “Everybody knows exactly what happened. What I do is I authorize my military. We have the greatest military in the world and they’ve done a job as usual. We have given them total authorization and that’s what they’re doing and frankly that’s why they’ve been so successful lately.”
Nicholson’s command said it took “every precaution to avoid civilian casualties”, without defining those steps, but gave no word on the impact to Afghan civilians. - More, Guardian