US hits IS with largest non-nuclear bomb ever used

This photo provided by Eglin Air Force Base shows the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. The Pentagon says U.S. forces in Afghanistan dropped the military's largest non-nuclear bomb on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan. A Pentagon spokesman said it was the first-ever combat use of the bomb, known as the GBU-43, which he said contains 11 tons of explosives. The Air Force calls it the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. Based on the acronym, it has been nicknamed the "Mother Of All Bombs." | Photo by Eglin Air Force Base via AP, St. George News

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (AP) — U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Thursday struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with “the mother of all bombs,” the largest non-nuclear weapon every used in combat by the U.S. military, Pentagon officials said.

The bomb, known officially as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, unleashes 11 tons of explosives. When it was developed in the early 2000s the Pentagon did a formal review of legal justification for its combat use.

The U.S. military headquarters in Kabul said in a statement that the bomb was dropped at 7:32 p.m. local time Thursday on a tunnel complex in Achin district of Nangarhar province, where the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State group has been operating.

The target was close to the Pakistani border.

Adam Stump, a Pentagon spokesman, said the bomb was dropped from a U.S. Air Force MC-130 transport, which he said had been brought to Afghanistan “some time ago” for potential use.

Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a written statement that the strike was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. forces conducting clearing operations in the Achin area “while maximizing the destruction” of IS fighters and facilities. He said IS has been using improvised explosive devices, bunkers and tunnels to strengthen its defenses.

“This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K,” he added, using the U.S. military’s acronym for the IS affiliate.

Written by ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • Brian April 13, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    The amazing part of this story is how much people who claim to be conservative (which I am) will cheer it because it sends a “message”.

    In English, the message is “You killed one of our soldiers last week using a bullet that costs $0.50, so we’re going to punish you by dropping the Mother of All Bombs on one of your tunnels. The bomb program cost over $1 Billion. The plane alone was $30 Million. Each MOAB costs many millions of dollars, and we just hit you with one. So take that!”.

    Of course, “conservatives” will cheer this out of one side of their mouths at the same time they brag about how Reagan was such an awesome president because he beat the Russians during the Cold War by bankrupting them. See the irony yet, neocons in conservative clothing?

  • comments April 13, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    We’ve been in Afghanistan nearly 16 years. Does anyone even know what we’re trying to accomplish there? Has anything improved there in 16 years? Osama has been dead a long time, so I have no clue what it is they’re aiming for.

    • comments April 13, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      Pakistan is a heavily Islamist country that actually has nukes. As to why they aren’t considered a threat, who knows. It’s not enough interest to me to research it.

  • hiker75 April 13, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Poof, $16,000,000.

  • Utahguns April 13, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Obamacare costs to American taxpayers in 2016 alone… $110 billion.
    Dramatically bigger POOF.

    • Willie April 13, 2017 at 8:03 pm

      Trump’s on the fast track for fixing that right? Or not just yet? Maybe it takes a bit to gear up for making America great? I’m not sure, I’m not the level of the greatest deal maker America has ever seen.

  • Sapphire April 13, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Does anyone actually read these articles? We hit an ISIS complex. And this was planned out before Trump was even president. Trump said he would get rid of ISIS and he was voted in to do that. The military is proceeding carefully. I can’t believe how not only the media, but people in general will twist what is happening to suit their favorite grudge.

    • Brian April 14, 2017 at 9:10 am

      Feel free to provide documentation that “this was planned out before Trump was even president”. I don’t see any evidence of that anywhere. These bombs were developed in 2002 and 2003, and have sat on the shelf since then. Dropping a bomb, even this one, isn’t planned that far in advance.

      I was anti-Trump during the campaign (because I’m actually conservative and my memory is intact), but let him start as POTUS with a clean slate. I would love for him to be a great, successful president, but the fact is, he’s an absolute train wreck, both as POTUS and as a person. He’s been president for less than 3 months and he’s already down to the option of last resort: “bomb something, anything! I need to look (and feel) presidential”

      Mark my words: when the money and power that come from war start to flow, the “great deal maker” will sell America wholesale to the military industrial complex. We’ll be in Syria and North Korea, and in a long staring contest with Russia. None of it will “make America great again”, but it will make a lot of money for a select few.

      • Sapphire April 15, 2017 at 9:46 am

        Seriously? You don’t know how to Google? “Defense officials said Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, had the authorities to use the bomb as part of the larger authorities to fight ISIS granted to his command in January 2016.

        The officials said the planning to use the bomb had been under way for months during the Obama administration and that the bomb had been in Afghanistan for months.”

  • utahdiablo April 13, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Next will be North Korea….(Don’t mess with us)….Look it up
    (Ed. substitute – I did look it up, UD.)

  • jaybird April 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Lets face it, Trump sucks. Everything hes done so far has been a big fizzle. This operation was testing this weapon @ a huge $ to the American taxpayer, like everything else he undertakes. We’ve allowed this madman access to our treasury, so he can give BIG tax breaks to him and his wealthy cronies. The Stupid President.

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