On April 13, 2017, the U.S. military dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal on eastern Afghanistan in an area known to be populated with ISIS militants. The 22,000-pound GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, also referred to as the “Mother Of All Bombs (MOAB),” was dropped on an ISIS-K cave and tunnel system in the Achin district of the Nangarhar Province at 7:32 p.m. local time.
ISIS-K is also known as the Khorasan group and is based in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. According to U.S. and Afghan officials, 94 ISIS-K fighters, including four commanders were killed in the strike and no civilians were injured.
According to officials, the strike was designed to maximize the destruction of ISIS-K fighters and facilities while minimizing the risk of Afghan and U.S. forces conducting clearing operations in the area.
“Following efforts to defeat ISIS-K in #Nangarhar, U.S. Forces -#AFG conducted strike on ISIS-K tunnel complex in Achin district,” the office of the President of Afghanistan tweeted.
“The air strike was designed to support efforts of the ANSF and U.S. Forces as well as minimize the risk to ANSF and the U.S. Forces…conducting clearing operations in the region.”
“Precautions were taken to avoid civilian casualties with this airstrike,” the President of Afghanistan’s office continued.
“Assessment of the casualties to ISIS-K is in the process,” they concluded.
Commander of the U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) General John Nicholson spoke to reporters from Afghanistan’s Government Media Information Center.
“This was the right weapon against the right target,” Gen. Nicholson said, before emphasizing the brutality of the ISIS-K fighters.
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast was dropped from the cargo door of an United States Air Force Lockheed MC-130 and struck an ISIS-K cave and tunnel system, which had been created by Mujahideen fighters in the 1980’s.
The bomb was dropped just days after U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar was killed by small arms fire in Nangarhar Province.
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast wasfirst tested in March 2003, just a few short days before the Iraq War began.
Watch aerial footage of the MOAB bomb striking ISIS below: