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The U.S. Just Dropped the Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb On Afghanistan

This time last week we were talking about the launch of missiles in Syria.

Now, we’ve moved on to dropping the largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan with the hopes of driving out ISIS. Who knows what next week will bring, but here we are.

Pentagon officials reported U.S. forces in Afghanistan struck an Islamic state tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with what’s being called “the mother of all bombs” (MOAB). This is the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military. In a statement, the U.S. military headquarters in Kabul said the bomb was dropped 7:32 PM local time on a tunnel complex in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, which is where the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State is said to be operating.

The bomb’s official name is GBU-43B and it unleashes 11 tons of explosives.  It’s estimated 600 to 800 Islamic State fighters are in Afghanistan.

The MOAB was developed in the early 2000s and is a custom-made Air Force weapon. The Pentagon said of the MOAB in a 2003 review of its legality that it could not be called a killer under the Law of Armed Conflict.

The review said, “Although the MOAB weapon leaves a large footprint, it is discriminate and requires a deliberate launching toward the target. It is expected that the weapon will have a substantial psychological effect on those who witness its use.”

In a written statement, Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said this bomb strike is to reduce the risk to Afghan and U.S. armed forces conducting clearing operations in the Achin area “while maximizing the destruction” of IS fighters and facilities.

This bomb drop is said to have occurred in a remote mountainous area away from civilian homes. There are no reports of injured civilians.

What will the rest of the year bring us?