On Friday, the Pentagon released new footage of the Massive Ordnance Air Blast, dubbed the “Mother of All Bombs,” dropped on ISIS territory in Afghanistan on Thursday. The 21,000-pound MOAB killed a reported 36 Islamic jihadists.
“At 7:32 p.m. local time today, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan conducted a strike on an ISIS-K tunnel complex in Achin district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, as part of ongoing efforts to defeat ISIS-K in Afghanistan in 2017,” said U.S. Forces – Afghanistan in a statement. “The strike was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. forces conducting clearing operations in the area.”
In the 30-second clip, the MOAB is seen being dropped on the mountainous ISIS territory before the target is hit and the bomb instantly explodes. The large mass of black smoke emitted from the bomb quickly evolves into a black mushroom cloud.
“The MOAB bomb is the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat and one of the largest bombs in the U.S. arsenal,” notes ABC News. “The bomb was dropped from the rear of an MC-130 aircraft. The MOAB is so large that it is carried in the cargo hold of the aircraft then rolled out the plane’s rear door toward its target.”
“This was the right weapon against this target,” said U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson at a Friday presser in Kabul. “The purpose of this operation was to eliminate that sanctuary.”
It is unclear if President Donald Trump authorized the use of the MOAB on Thursday, Trump telling the press, “Everybody knows exactly what happened. What I do is I authorize my military.”
However, Trump was quick to contrast military action under his watch and his predecessor’s.
“If you look at what’s happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really to what’s happened over the past eight years, you’ll see there’s a tremendous difference,” said Trump.
“We have the greatest military in the world and they’ve done a job as usual,” added the president. “We have given them total authorization and that’s what they’re doing and frankly. That’s why they’ve been so successful lately.”
There have been no reports of civilian casualties.