The U.S. military using the largest non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal to target Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadists in Afghanistan is “an immense atrocity against the Afghan people,” proclaimed the former president of the country.
“My message to President [Donald] Trump today is that he has committed an immense atrocity against the Afghan people, against fellow human beings,” he told the Associated Press (AP). “If the American government sees us as human beings, then they have committed a crime against fellow human beings, but if they treat us as less than human beings, well, of course, they can do whatever they want.”
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, responsible for strained relations between the United States and Afghanistan during his administration, also accused America of using Afghan soil as a weapons testing ground.
U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, issued the order for the United States military to drop the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, marking the first time America uses the weapon in battle.
Karzai told AP that the munition, which targeted a network of tunnels and caves last Thursday that facilitated ISIS attacks on U.S.-backed Afghan troops, “was used very disrespectfully by the U.S.”
American President Trump described the U.S. operation against ISIS as a “very, very successful mission.”
Following the deployment of MOAB, dubbed “the mother of all bombs,” current Afghan President Ashraf Ghani revealed that there was “close coordination” between the U.S. military and the Kabul government over the offensive, adding that they were careful to prevent any civilian casualties.
Nevertheless, Karzai blasted his successor for allowing the United States to drop the bomb.
“How could a government of a country allow the use of a weapon of mass destruction on its own territory? Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, how could they allow that? It just unimaginable,” declared the former Afghan leader.
The relationship between the U.S. and Afghanistan has improved under President Ghani, who often thanks American troops and taxpayers for their commitment to improving safety conditions across Afghanistan.
In contrast, Karzai often criticized the United States.
At the end of the Karzai’s presidency, the Los Angeles Times acknowledged:
If Karzai is relieved that his turbulent 13-year tenure is all but over, he isn’t the only one. Constitutionally barred from seeking another term, the elegant man who once charmed the world and embodied the hope of his nation is leaving behind a government ravaged by corruption, an economy dependent on international donors, a badly frayed alliance with the United States and a population still vulnerable to a stubborn Taliban insurgency.
American troops and their Afghan counterparts have been combating the Taliban since October 2001.
They began fighting the ISIS branch in the region soon after they established a presence in Afghanistan back in January 2015.
At the time the United States dropped the MOAB bomb, the number of ISIS fighters had been diminished by nearly 80 percent, from a peak of 3,000 to between 600 and 800 with the majority of them located in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, the group’s primary stronghold in the region.
The weapon reportedly killed about 100 ISIS jihadists in Nangarhar’s Achin district, which lies along the Pakistan border.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban remains the largest and most formidable opponent, currently believed to be in control of more territory than during any time since American troops removed it from power in 2001.