“It felt like the heavens were falling. The children and women were very scared.”
That’s how Mohammad Shahzadah described the U.S.’ decision to drop the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat this week.
Indeed, on Thursday the U.S. dropped a GBU-43/B bomb — a GPS-guided demolition bomb containing 11,000 tons of explosives — in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, located in the eastern region of the country near the Pakistan border.
Afghan officials later said that 36 ISIS militants perished as a result of the detonation, CNN reports, but former Afghan president Hamid Karzai doubts that the U.S. dropped the weapon in a sincere attempt to secure the region from terror.
On Thursday, Karzai tweeted that the bomb was “not [about] the war on terror but the inhuman and brutal misuse of our country as testing ground for new and dangerous weapons.”
In a third and final tweet of the series, Karzai concluded, “It is upon us, Afghans, to stop the #USA.”
Other Afghans echoed Karzai’s thoughts.
“There is no doubt that ISIS are brutal and that they have committed atrocities against our people. But I don’t see why the bomb was dropped,” the mayor of Achin, Naweed Shinwari, told The Guardian. “It terrorized our people. My relatives thought the end of the world had come. Everyday fighter jets, helicopters and drones are in the area.”
On the domestic front, U.S. Commander in Afghanistan John Nicholson said that he used the bomb in order to keep Afghan troops and Americans out of caves in the province, which are believed to be occupied by ISIS militants. Authorities estimate that between 600 and 800 ISIS militants live in the region.
President Donald Trump, who said he authorized the drop, hailed the action as “very, very successful” and praised the military for being the “best in the world.”
According to CBS, the plan to strike stretches back into the Obama administration, which is when the bomb was moved to Afghanistan.
Next, read up on how Afghanistan was in the 1960s.