New Delhi: The US dropped its massive ordnance air blast (MOAB) bomb, also known as ‘mother of all bombs’ in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province on Islamic State (IS) targets on Thursday. The US estimates 600 to 800 IS fighters are present in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar. The US has concentrated heavily on combating them while also supporting Afghan forces battling the Taliban.
The US letting loose the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by its military has received widespread global attention. Here’s how the international press has reacted on the US using mother of all bombs in Afghanistan:
■ The Guardian: “The president has tasted the sweet cup of war. A measure of his absurdity is that the beneficiary of the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (Moab) missile dropped on the Afghan mountains will be the local rivals of its alleged Isis victims, the rebel Taliban. It is doubtful that Trump worries about this irony. He just wanted to be seen, as he once put it, to “bomb the shit out of Isis". He is now so hooked on gesture bombings that he holds a press conference to boast of each one."
■ Channel News Asia: “The US military on Thursday dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb it possesses on Afghanistan, targeting a complex used by the Islamic State group. Trump also flexed his military muscle last week by ordering cruise missile strikes on a Syrian airbase the US believed was the origin of a chemical weapons attack on civilians in a northern Syria town. The moves are seen as an implicit warning to North Korea that Washington is not afraid to use force."
Also read | US ‘mother of all bombs’ killed 36 ISIS militants in Afghanistan
■ Boston Herald: “President Trump was smart to use the MOAB instead of deploying combat soldiers to fight ISIS inside the tunnels. He spared America the agony of losing our finest. Following the cruise missile strike in Syria, Trump continues to send a very clear message to ISIS, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, North Korea, Russia, Iran and Assad—he’s not a paper lion. He understands that diplomacy without military force is vacuous. Animals like Assad, Kim Jong Un and the Islamic State only respect force."
■ Sputnik News: “The most optimistic analysis we can make at this point is that Trump believes he can wheel and deal in the political arena as he has throughout his years in the business arena. But the consequences of having his bluff called in the game he’s playing now, as opposed to the game he cut his teeth in, are of an entirely different dimension. The game his administration is playing now carries with it the strong possibility of unleashing catastrophic consequences."