The United States dropped “the mother of all bombs,” the largest non-nuclear device it has ever unleashed in combat, on a network of caves and tunnels used by Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday 13th of April 2017, the military said.
The bomb, known officially known as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, unleashes 11 tons of explosives. When it was developed in the early 2000's, the Pentagon did a formal review of legal justification for its combat use.
The Pentagon said it had no early estimate of deaths or damage caused by its attack, which President Donald Trump called a "very, very successful mission."
The U.S. military headquarters in Kabul said in a statement that the bomb was dropped at 7:32 p.m. local time Thursday on a tunnel complex in Achin district of Nangarhar province, where the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State group has been operating. The target was close to the Pakistani border.
"Although the MOAB weapon leaves a large footprint, it is discriminate and requires a deliberate launching toward the target," the review said. It added: "It is expected that the weapon will have a substantial psychological effect on those who witness its use."
Adam Stump, a Pentagon spokesman, said the bomb was dropped from a U.S. MC-130 special operations transport. He said the bomb had been brought to Afghanistan "some time ago" for potential use.
"This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K," he added, using the U.S. military's acronym for the IS affiliate.
"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," Spicer said.