After the bomb was dropped, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said the large ordinance was used because it was “necessary to break Isis.” The Afghan government said it killed 94 insurgents and no civilians. However, an independent analysis by Alcis, a geographical analysis outfit, found that the damage caused by MOAB is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Using a combination of satellite imagery, ground footage and 3D visualisation, Alcis conducted a survey of the region where the bomb was dropped, and there were inconsistencies:
It found 38 buildings and 69 trees destroyed within a 150-meter radius, challenging statements from locals who told reporters the bomb had damaged houses up to two miles away.
The imagery also shows no 300-meter crater, as had been expected prior to the strike. Alcis believes damage done further away is a result of ground fighting.
Based on the analysis, Richard Brittan, Alcis’s managing director, called into question the death toll pushed by the Afghan government, including the claims that no civilians were killed. “It’s the only place to be if you want to tend to those fields,” he said. “It is entirely possible that working-age male farmers could be counted as militants.”
Well, at least Toby Keith got that MOAB bump.
(Via The Guardian)