US drops largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan, first time used in combat
The US military has used its GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), nicknamed “the mother of all bombs,” for the first time in combat. The US Air Force used it in Afghanistan to target Islamic State tunnels and personnel.
The 21,000-pound (9,525 kg) bomb was dropped in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan.
The Pentagon has confirmed the use of the MOAB, and is currently assessing damage. General John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, signed off on its use, CNN reported. Authority was also sought from General Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM).
CENTCOM after U.S. drops GBU-43 bomb on ISIS targets in Afghanistan: U.S. “will continue offensive operations until ISIS-K is destroyed.” pic.twitter.com/qyrNXhpQbu
— ABC News (@ABC) April 13, 2017
The Air Force developed the MOAB in 2003, but it had never been used in combat until 7pm local time on Thursday. The Pentagon produced 15 MOABs at a cost of $16 million per unit, according to military information website Deagel.
The use of the bomb comes as the US involvement in Afghanistan heads into its 16th year in the fall, and days after Staff Sergeant Mark De Alencar, a US Special Forces operator, was killed in the same region