The U.S. military dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb, MOAB, on an ISIS tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, a U.S. defense official confirmed to Fox News.
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, which created the nickname “Mother of All Bombs” or “MOAB,” due to its weight of over 21,000 pounds, reports Business Insider.
It was developed during the Iraq War but had not been used in any sort of defense or offense measures until now.
The 30-foot, 21,600-pound, GPS-guided MOAB was designed before the Iraq war to try to pressure Saddam Hussein, but none were ever used in the war. The first operational MOAB was deployed on April 11, 2003, but by that point, coalition troops had entered Baghdad and the Iraqi army had crumbled.
According to an Air Force release published on the fifth anniversary of its March 11, 2003, test, it produced a mushroom cloud that could be seen from 20 miles away. It is so big that it doesn’t fit into bombers and instead must be carried in the back of a C-130.
The bomb was dropped on an ISIS-Khorasan, or ISIS-K, camp in the Achin district of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, which borders northwest Pakistan.
The 30 foot-long bomb once detonated creates a blast radius stretching a mile in all directions and the shock wave sounds can be heard for miles.
On Wednesday, the White House announced it is conducting a broader strategy review intended to establish the United States’ next steps for the 15-year Afghanistan campaign. As part of that, the president intends to dispatch his national security adviser, Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, to “find out how we can make progress alongside our Afghan partners.”
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