US says nearly 800 ISIS members on ground when ‘Mother of All Bombs’ dropped
The United States on Thursday dropped the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal on an ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan — a strike President Trump hailed as “very, very successful.”
The 21,600-pound, 30-foot-long Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb — nicknamed MOAB and “the Mother of All Bombs” — was so big, it had to be pushed out the rear door of an MC-130 cargo plane, military brass said.
“We kicked it out the back door,” a US official told Fox News.
It was the first time the bomb — which packs a punch equivalent to 11 tons of TNT and was created in 2003 for possible use in the Iraq war — was employed on the battlefield.
The target was a tunnel-and-bunker complex in the Achin district of Nangarhar Province near the Pakistani border. The Afghan affiliate of ISIS was said to have had been holed up there.
The bomb, officially called the GBU-43/B, exploded while still in the air at 7:32 p.m. Afghan time, creating a huge downward shockwave that was meant to collapse the tunnels.
“It’s a concussive blast. Everyone in the area is obliterated, ears are bleeding, or they’re completely destroyed,” an official told the UK’s Telegraph.
The US estimates that 600 to 800 ISIS terrorists were on the ground in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar, conducting strikes on government and US forces while battling the rival Taliban.