Video released by the Pentagon on Friday showed the “Mother of all Bombs” plummeting from the sky and exploding in eastern Afghanistan, as military officials said it flattened a cave-and-tunnel complex controlled by the Islamic State terror group.
The Department of Defense released the video Friday, less than a day after it dropped the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) atop the Achin district of Nangarhar province, which is close to the Afghan-Pakistan border. Officials said 39 ISIS fighters were killed.
In the 30-second video, the 21,000-pound bomb – the largest non-nuclear weapon in the U.S. military arsenal – could be seen dropping before it exploded midair. Smoke quickly rose from the impact zone, which officials said was more than a mile wide.
The U.S. military headquarters in Kabul said in a statement that the bomb was dropped at 7:32 p.m. local time Thursday.
President Donald Trump, who said he authorized the attack, called it a “very, very successful mission.”
“As [ISIS’] losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers, and tunnels to thicken their defense,” Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement. “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against [ISIS].”
The MOAB was first tested in 2003, but hadn’t been used in combat before Thursday.
The MOAB had to be dropped out of the back of a U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo plane due to its massive size.
“We kicked it out the back door,” one U.S. official told Fox News.