The U.S. military for the first time Thursday dropped one of its largest conventional weapons — a massive 21,000-pound bomb nicknamed the “Mother of All Bombs” — on an Islamic State tunnel complex in Afghanistan.
The GBU-43, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, was dropped from a U.S. aircraft in Nangahar province, where U.S.-backed Afghan forces are battling the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
President Trump has pledged to ramp up the pressure on ISIS, though the Pentagon has said it hasn’t changed the basic process for approving airstrikes, which it says is rigorous.
However, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has given battlefield commanders more authority to make decisions, said Sen. John McCain, Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
A GBU-43 would not only destroy a tunnel complex, it would also have a psychological impact on the militants because of its destructive power. The blast can be heard for miles and is very different from the small munitions the military uses when trying to hit a small target and minimize surrounding damage.
“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,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said…. see more