The use of the GBU-43/B is a first for the battlefield, and was dropped in Nangarhar province on Thursday.
The U.S. has dropped one if its largest non-nuclear bombs on a tunnel complex in Afghanistan, the U.S. military said.
The use of the GBU-43/B is a first for the battlefield, and was dropped in Nangarhar province on Thursday. The target was a tunnel complex in Achin district being used by the ISIS-Khorasan group.
Known as the Massive Ordnance Air Blast, the bomb has been nicknamed “Mother of All Bombs.” Developed in 2003, the bomb has been tested but never used against an enemy. The bomb is 30-feet long and weighs 21,000 pounds. It’s been billed the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. inventory, but the GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator is larger, at 30,000 pounds.
“As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense,” Gen. John “Mick” Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, said in a statement. “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”
On Saturday, Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar was killed in Nangarhar province while fighting the ISIS-Khorasan group. ISIS-Khorasan is an ISIS affiliate that operates in Afghanistan. Nangarhar province, on the eastern border near Pakistan, has been a base of operations for ISIS since 2015, the military said.
“Daesh [ISIS] seek to use the area to train, equip, disseminate propaganda, and expand their control over innocent Afghans,” U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said in September.
The military statement said the bomb was dropped from “a U.S. aircraft,” and the strike “was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. Forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximizing the destruction of ISIS-K fighters and facilities.”
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