Reports of the bomb had made me think that it had wiped out the IS stronghold here in Achin district. I assumed that US and Afghan troops would have sealed off the area and that IS (or Daesh, as it is known here) would be in disarray.
An Afghan officer corrected me. “For a start this bomb wasn’t as powerful as you think,” he said.
“There are still green trees standing 100m away from the site of the impact.”
…”Daesh hasn’t gone anywhere; there are hundreds of caves like the one the Americans bombed,” the officer says, adding that strikes have continued since the bomb was dropped. “They can’t get rid of them like this.”
…Unlike the Taliban, who tend to have many supporters in their core areas, IS seem to have angered a lot of people. Few seemed unhappy about the US bombardment.
…However, there was anxiety. One man, Khaled, said local people were pawns in a US game.
“[Dropping the bomb] was a trick to show the world that their mission was going well. But this wasn’t the type of bomb they showed in the media. The bomb did nothing.”
“Will IS come back?” I asked.
“Yes, as soon as the government leaves, the locals won’t be able to fight them. If the government makes permanent bases in the area and helps us, then we will be happy,” he answered.