The GBU-43B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, nicknamed MOAB, was dropped at 7 p.m. local time Thursday, military sources told CNN. A MOAB — nicknamed the mother of all bombs — is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition that is America’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb.
“Around 7 p.m. local time in Afghanistan, the United States military used a GBU-43B weapon in Afghanistan. The GBU-43B is a powerful and accurately delivered weapon. We targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely, making it easier for them to target U.S. military advisors and Afghan forces in the area,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday about the drop. “The United States takes the fight against ISIS seriously and in order to defeat the group, we must deny them operational space, which we did.”
The bomb was dropped by an MC-130 aircraft, flown by Air Force Special Operations Command, the network said. The target was tunnels used by ISIS terrorists in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. According to Fox News’ Jennifer Griffith, the blast area for the bomb is a mile wide.
Gen. John Nicholson, U.S. Forces Commander for Afghanistan, signed off on the use of the bomb, according to the sources.
“As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense,” General Nicholson said in a statement. “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”
The bomb was dropped in the region that U.S. Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar was killed by ISIS terrorists last week. Nangarhar Province sits on the eastern border with Pakistan, which has been a longtime terrorist stronghold. This type of bomb, a GBU-43B, developed during the Iraq War, has never been used in combat until now.
The military is doing a damage assessment so casualty figures were not immediately clear.
According to CENTCOM and the White House, “U.S. forces took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties with this strike.”
President Trump on Thursday praised the dropping of a huge bomb on ISIS strongholds in Afghanistan as “a very, very successful mission.”
“We’re very, very proud of our military,” Trump told reporters during a White House event honoring first responders to an interstate bridge collapse in Georgia.
“We are so proud of our military and it was another successful event.”
Asked if he personally authorized dropping the bomb — the largest non-nuclear explosive the US has ever detonated on a battlefield — Trump replied, “Everybody knows exactly what happened. What I do is authorize our military. We have given them total authorization. That’s why they’ve been so successful lately.”
He was also asked if dropping the MOAB would deter North Korea’s belligerence.
“I don’t know if it sends a message, it doesn’t make any difference if it does or not. North Korea’s a problem. The problem will be taken care of,” he said.
Trump also said that the military has had more success in the last eight weeks than in the eight years of the Obama administration.
President Trump during the campaign promised to “bomb the (heck)” out of ISIS, and this escalation could be the first sign of that policy in action.
Compiled from two articles by Bob Fredericks on April 13 published at NYPost .com and a few paragraphs from a report by Katie Pavlich. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from the New York Post.
1. What is MOAB? Be specific.
2. What is significant about the military’s use of this bomb?
3. a) Where was this bomb used?
b) What is a possible reason for the use of this bomb at this time in this area?
4. What did President Trump say about the military and the mission?
5. a) What do you think about the use of the MOAB against ISIS? (Good military strategy? Used too soon? Not soon enough?…) Explain your answer.
b) Why do you think we have not used this tactic in working toward the defeat of ISIS until now?
6. Watch the video under “Resources.”
a) What did President Trump say when asked if dropping the MOAB would deter North Korea’s belligerence?
b) What do you think of his response? Too tough, not tough enough, or the right response? Explain your answer.
President Trump’s statement on this mission:
Former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie interview April 14, 2017: