ACHIN, Afghanistan - The U.S. military has dropped an enormous bomb in Afghanistan, Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed.
"We targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters use to move around freely," said Spicer in his daily White House briefing.
The 21,000-pound - also known as the "Mother of All Bombs" or "MOAB" - was dropped around 7 p.m. local time Thursday in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province.
FIRST ON CNN: The US has dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb in combat on Afghanistan https://t.co/ET0PLACzOe— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 13, 2017
Spicer said the U.S. took all precautions necessary to avoid civilian casualties.
Spicer: GBU43 Weapon used in Afghanistan. We targeted tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters use.— Blair Miller (@BlairMillerTV) April 13, 2017
This is the first time a MOAB has been used in the battlefield, according to CNN. This munition was developed during the Iraq War.
Pentagon: #MOAB strike reduces obstacles like IED's, bunkers, and tunnels. Official says bomb maintains momentum of fight against ISIS.— Jacqueline Fell (@jackiefell) April 13, 2017
The Pentagon said that the strike will reduce obstacles like IED's, bunkers and tunnels and helps maintain the momentum in the fight against ISIS.
WATCH SEAN SPICER'S WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING:
Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, signed off on use of the bomb; was developed during the Iraq War but never used— David Wright (@DavidWright_CNN) April 13, 2017
THE HISTORY OF MOAB
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast was fast-tracked for Operation Iraqi Freedom, but the lack of enemy resistance kept it grounded, reports The History Channel.
MOAB is more than 30 feet long and weighs more than 21,000 pounds. The blast area is approximately a mile in each direction and the explosion can be heard miles away.
"Drop one of these, and you can take out a large amount of a target in one big explosion," said Bob Morris, a military capabilities expert, in an Ultimate Weapons episode.
Engineers designed a grid fin system to make it easier to deploy the bomb, given its massive size. It carries close to 10 tons of explosives.
"When they were testing it, people actually thought they were testing small-scale nuclear devices," said Morris.
GPS and internal gyroscopes guide the bomb to its target, said the History Channel.
Lawmakers have been reacting to the news of the bomb drop, including Rep. Seth Moulton, a veteran. Moulton has said he wants to hear President Donald Trump's strategy when it comes to overseas fighting.
What we need from @POTUS is not a bigger bomb but an actual plan to secure the peace.— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) April 13, 2017
Last week Trump issued airstrikes in Syria following reports of a chemical gas attack.
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