MOAB during a 2003 test
Ho New / Reuters
WASHINGTON — The US military on Thursday for the first time used its largest non-nuclear weapon, aptly nicknamed the Mother of All Bombs, on a suspected ISIS tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan.
US forces dropped the 30-foot long, 21,000-pound bomb at 7:32 pm local time, in the country's Nangarhar province. The area is currently under the control of the local ISIS affiliate, known as ISIS-Khorsan (ISIS-K).
Two factors drove the decision to use the weapon, the largest conventional munition that the US has ever used in a combat theatre, the Pentagon said: that the target was underground tunnels and the enemy was ISIS.
"As ISIS-K's losses have mounted, they are using [improvised explosives], bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense," Gen. John W. Nicholson, the top commander in Afghanistan, said in a statement soon after the bomb's use. "This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our of..