The United States’ fight against ISIS took an interesting turn today with the first-time dropping of the largest non-nuclear bomb in the country’s military arsenal. The bomb, called MOAB (short for Massive Ordinance Air Blast) made its combat debut in Afghanistan today where it targeted what a CNN source described as a cave and tunnel complex utilized by ISIS personnel.
The MOAB — which has gotten the appropriate nickname “Mother Of All Bombs” — is an incredibly large weapon, measuring 30 feet in length and weighing in at nearly 22,000 pounds. The bomb is guided via GPS, and the one that landed in Afghanistan today was dropped from an MC-130 special operations aircraft and dropped in the Achin district, which is considered to be the hotspot for ISIS in the country.
Shortly after CNN’s initial report, the attack was confirmed by White House press secretary Sean Spicer. “The United States takes the fight against ISIS very seriously and in order to defeat the group we must deny them operational space, which we did,” Spicer explained. No confirmations on whether the bomb was effective, or news on possibly casualties, was offered.
“US forces took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties with this strike. US Forces will continue offensive operations until ISIS-K is destroyed in Afghanistan,” reads a statement from US Forces Afghanistan which followed.
The MOAB initially developed during the war in Iraq, and its existence had been largely used as psychological leverage against enemies, up until today’s successful deployment of the weapon.