U.S. Drops Biggest Non-Nuclear Bomb Ever Used In Combat
The U.S. has dropped the largest conventional weapon ever used in combat to hit an underground ISIS complex in Afghanistan, Pentagon officials say.
The nearly 22,000-pound "MOAB" — standing for Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or as it's also known, the "Mother of All Bombs" — was designed during the Iraq War but had never before been used on the battlefield.
The U.S. has used the bomb's predecessor, a smaller but still massive weapon known as the "Daisy Cutter," in Afghanistan before.
The Pentagon says it dropped the MOAB in Nangarhar province at around 7:30 p.m. local time, to counter ISIS efforts to use bunkers and tunnels as defense mechanisms.
"This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K," or the Islamic State in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement.
The Pentagon says the U.S. "took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties" in the strike.
At a news conference Thursday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the bomb used was "a large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon." He declined to comment on whether the U.S. would use the weapon again, in Afghanistan or elsewhere.
The weapon is officially known as the GBU-43B, NPR's Phil Ewing explains:
When deployed in combat, the smaller Daisy Cutter could be felt from miles away.
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