Thursday, April 13, 2017

U.S. strikes at Islamic State tunnels with "mother of all bombs" - GBU-43B

U.S. forces in Afghanistan struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with "the mother of all bombs," the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military. The bomb, known officially as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, unleashes 11 tons of explosives.

MOAB costs around $16 million per unit. So far the U.S. military has spent $314 million on the production of the explosive. The bomb weighs 20,000 pounds and is equipped with GPS tracking systems.

The Achin district is 100 percent Pashtun tribal. During the Soviet/Afghan war of the 1980s, it was a stronghold of the U.S. backed Mujaheddin. There is a population of around 95,000. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said in 2000 that the area was the greatest opium growing district in eastern Afghanistan.