Sputnik, April 14, 2018

Locals Recall Aftermath of US “Mother of All Bombs” Strike in Afghanistan

"In truth, the US wanted to show Iran, China, Russia and North Korea – the countries that have nuclear weapons – that they cannot compete with the US in an area where the latter has vested interests"

The people of Afghanistan continue to deal with the physical and emotional aftermath of events that transpired one year ago when the US military dropped one of the biggest non-nuclear bombs ever made in their country.

On April 13, 2017, a US military aircraft dropped the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast on a tunnel network used by Daesh* terrorists in the Acin district of the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

However, Afghan political analyst Wahid Mozhdah told Sputnik Afghanistan that the United States does not really seek to battle terrorists in the country and pursued other goals when they deployed that weapon.

"Using a bomb this expensive against a handful of people is illogical. They simply tested this bomb in Afghanistan. The US is not really fighting against terrorists and other groups; they [the US] turned Afghanistan into a testing range for their weapons," he said.

Enough Money To Liberate Afghanistan

Kabul residents who shared their thoughts about those events with Sputnik also appeared skeptical regarding the results of the US military action in Nangarhar.

According to Seyed Jahed Hashemi, the entire operation was pointless as far as the elimination of the militants’ manpower was concerned.

"The deployment of the Mother of All Bombs by the US in the Acin district of Nangarhar province wasn’t supposed to happen, because it was simply pointless to use such a large bomb to wipe out terrorists in such a small province. By the time the bomb was dropped on them, the number of Daesh militants there wasn’t big enough to warrant a bombing. The money the US spent to develop this bomb would’ve been enough to liberate all of Afghanistan from Daesh militants," Hashemi remarked.

Masih Nezami remarked that the US simply sought to test their new weapon, arguing that “the use of such bombs does not improve things, but merely exacerbates people’s anxiety.

"I think that using the Mother of All Bombs was a US strategic plan – they tested that weapon on us. I don’t think that they used a bomb worth $1.5 million simply to take out those Daesh militants. It was an experiment of some sort," he explained.

Seeking Natural Resources

Shah Saeid claimed that the US sought to use the bombing to lay claim on the natural resource deposits located in the province.

"Using this bomb didn’t do any good. The Americans wanted to show their might, and all it did was bring people more problems, psychological and spiritual. Using the bombs like the one that was dropped in Acin is merely a pretext for exploiting our natural resources and advancing their interests. If they want to use bombs against Taliban and Daesh militants, why won’t they drop them on areas where the terrorists are massing, instead of dropping them in Acin where there are no terrorists but plenty of natural resources?" the man inquired.

Omar Yaqubi, however, said that there were both positive and negative consequences of the bombing.

"The positive ones include the elimination of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda. As for the negative consequences, however, it is the way how it affected our future generations. We’ve endured many wars over the course of our history, and those who took part in them now deal with psychological problems," Yaqubi said.

Testing Lab

Nazifa Soltanzai argued that the White House treats Afghanistan merely as a place where US military can test its weapons.

"They treat Afghanistan as a backward country, as their colony, so they test in Afghanistan all the things they later use at home. We Afghans endured much in this ongoing war: physically, spiritually and mentally. And the use of such dangerous bombs leads to serious damage and consequences for all of us," she said.

Explosive Message

Sher Shah Navabi, a correspondent who covered the events in Acin, also told Sputnik that Washington used the Mother of All Bombs to display the country’s might to Russia and several other countries and to show the people of Afghanistan that their country is “just a testing lab” for the US.

"In truth, the US wanted to show Iran, China, Russia and North Korea – the countries that have nuclear weapons – that they cannot compete with the US in an area where the latter has vested interests," Navabi said.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), also referred to as the Mother of All Bombs, is a large-yield bomb designed for the US military in 2002 and adopted a year later.

The bomb was first deployed in combat on April 13, 2017, during an airstrike against Daesh forces entrenched in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

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