13 ISIS-K Leaders Killed by Controversial Use of U.S.’ GBU-43B Bomb in Aghanistan
nsnbc : At least thirteen key leaders of the Afghani Islamic State franchise ISIS-K were killed in the U.S.’ airstrike and use of the massive GBU-43B bomb in eastern Nangahar province of Afghanistan.
Mohammad Radmanish, Deputy Spokesman of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said thirteen key ISIS-K leaders were among those killed including. He also said Pakistani, Indian, Tajik and other nationals.
Afghan intelligence sources privy of the development reportedly said the senior ISIS leaders killed in the airstrike have been identified as Mumtaz and Afsar from Orakzai agency of Pakistan, former Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Shahidullah Shahid and another militant of the same group Omran.
The sources added that the other leaders killed in the raid have been identified as Aftab, a resident of Punjab province of Pakistan, and Mohammad and Alogita from India. A militant from Tajikistan identified as Sediqi, Noorak, Hamid, and Haji Saeed, plus residents of Afghanistan who were also killed in the airstrike.
The massive 21,600 pound GBU-43-B bomb was deployed around 7:30 pm local time on Thursday. The Ministry of Defense Chief of Staff Gen. Murad Ali Murad said earlier this week, while work to recover bodies from the destroyed tunnel complex was ongoing that the number of the militants killed in the airstrike has reached up to 95.
Speaking during a press conference on Sunday, Gen. Murad said the death toll could rise as the clearance operation is underway after the bomb was dropped. The airstrike has resulted into the elimination of the strategic hideout of the terrorist group in Nangarhar, Gen. Muad said, adding that the civilians did not suffer any casualties.
The use of the largest non-nuclear bomb also nicknamed Mother OF All Bombs (MOAB) has exacerbated political tensions in the war-torn country. Deputy Chief of Staff of the Afghan National Army, General Murad Ali Murad, said the use of the bomb sent a clear signal also to foreign powers supporting ISIS.
Ironically, it were not only Saudi Arabia, but also the United States that “dropped the bomb” were among the midwifes of the global terrorist menace that calls itself the Islamic State a.k.a. ISI, ISIL, Daesh, Wilayat Sinai, and in Afghanistan ISIS-K.
General Murad also justified the use of the massive bomb saying that no civilians suffered any casualties and that the use of the bomb resulted in the elimination of the strategic hideout of the terrorist group in Nangahar province.
Tribal elders from the region reportedly gathered after the airstrike, welcome it and reportedly urged further strikes to clear the province from ISIS-K militants. Meanwhile, Daud Asas, a national security adviser to Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, criticized the use of the massive bomb. Subsequently the office of Abdullah Abdullah issued a statement saying Daud Asas has been fired because of his “irresponsible remarks”.
The statement further added that Asas was fired based on a decree issued by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, emphasizing that the government will fight against all terrorist groups without any distinction.
Former President Hamid Karzai, for his part, met with the Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan on Saturday evening in his office, only hours voicing his stern opposition against the US military for the use of massive bomb against the ISIS militants.
During his last months in office Karzai refused to sign the currently valid Afghan – US status of forces agreement that gives U.S. troops in the country carte blanche for operations that have not been authorized by and coordinated with the Afghan government.
The office of the former president issued a statement saying that the Russian Ambassador briefed Karzai regarding the latest regional summit hosted by Moscow regarding the Afghan peace process. Karzai stressed that the only way to ensure peace and stability in the country would be through Afghan-led negotiations.
Earlier in the day, Karzai had vowed to step up efforts in a bid to oust the US military from the country following the massive airstrike in Achin Nangarhar against ISIS terrorists involving the non-nuclear 21,600 pound GBU-43B bomb.
Karzai blasted the current government for allowing the US forces to carry out the strike and insisted that the move would be a national treason if the government had approved the use of the massive bomb.
He also raised questions regarding the increased US airstrikes against ISIS now, and political motivations, saying “Why has the US waited for two years before it started bombing Daesh?”
CH/L – nsnbc 19.04.2017