AFGHANISTAN — The US military has dropped an enormous bomb in Afghanistan, according to four US military officials with direct knowledge of the mission.
A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, nicknamed MOAB, was dropped at 7 p.m. local time Thursday, the sources said.
In a press briefing Thursday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the following, forwarding all additional questions to the U.S. Department of Defense.
“We targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely making it easier for them to target U.S. military advisers and Afghan forces in the area.The United States takes the fight against ISIS very seriously, and in order to defeat the group, we must deny them operational space, which we did. The United States took all the precautions necessary to prevent civilian casualties and collateral damage as result of the operation.”
The MOAB is also known as the “mother of all bombs.” A MOAB is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition that is America’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb.
The bomb was dropped by an MC-130 aircraft, operated by Air Force Special Operations Command, according to the military sources.
They said the target was ISIS tunnels and personnel in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province.
The military is currently assessing the damage. Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, signed off on the use of the bomb, according to the sources.
This is the first time a MOAB has been used in the battlefield, according to the US officials. This munition was developed during the Iraq War.