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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Sunday, January 21, 2018

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After dropping Mother of all Bombs in Afghanistan, U.S. military now vows to destroy ISIS

The MOAB

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WASHINGTON, U.S. - After the U.S. military dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb on an ISIS tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province, killing close to 100 ISIS fighters - now America has a plan to wreck more havoc on the terror group.< BNN

Earlier in April, the GBU-43B, the MOAB - Massive Ordinance Air Blast, also known as the ‘Mother Of All bombs’ - a 22,000-pound conventional bomb was dropped in the region.

The MOAB is America’s largest non-nuclear bomb, developed during the Iraq war, was first tested in 2003 but was never used before. 

Soon after, the Pentagon confirmed that military forces had targeted and destroyed, ISIS-K's leader Abdul Hasib during a raid of a compound last week, close to the site of the bombing.

Now, as reinforcements arrive from Syria and Iraq, U.S. is going after the terror group’s Afghanistan branch, with full force, in a bid to wipe it out from the face of the world.

Since 2001, U.S. and Kabul government forces have mainly been combatting Taliban fighters, but now ISIS's local offshoot that calls itself Islamic State-Khorasan, or ISIS-K — has gained a stronghold in eastern Afghanistan.

The terror group that emerged in the region in 2015, quickly overran large parts of Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, near the Pakistan border.

However, more often than not, their part in the Afghan conflict is overshadowed by the operations against the Taliban.

According to Captain Bill Salvin, spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, the local ISIS presence had recently peaked at between 2,500 to 3,000 but that defections and recent battlefield losses reduced their number to a maximum of 800.

In a statement to the AFP, Salvin said, “We have a very good chance of destroying them in 2017, making it very clear that when the ISIS fighters are destroyed elsewhere around the globe that this is not the place for you to come to plot your attacks.”

Analysts believe that along with Afghans, ISIS-K includes disaffected Pakistani and Uzbek Islamists among its ranks that earlier fought for the Taliban.

The group, that first emerged as a significant player in Afghanistan in early 2015, has subsequently claimed responsibility for a string of bomb attacks.

Over the years, U.S. has struggled to boast of clear wins after forcing the Taliban out of Kabul in 2001. 

The operations of the American military began in the region in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

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