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Trump Drops The ‘Mother Of All Bombs’ On ISIS Target In Afghanistan [WATCH]

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U.S. forces used their largest non-nuclear bomb for the first time in combat on Thursday, striking Islamic State militants in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province around 7:30 p.m. local time.

The strike was carried out “as part of ongoing efforts to defeat ISIS-K in Afghanistan in 2017,” according to a U.S. Central Command press release.

The military objective was to drop the bomb “and get it over and done with and get the ISIS forces killed off,” Barbara Starr, CNN’s Pentagon correspondent, said.

The bomb used is a GBU-43 or Massive Ordnance Air Blast, commonly referred to as the “mother of all bombs.” It contains 11 tons of explosives, according to The Associated Press.

It was chosen in an effort to “minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. Forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximizing the destruction of ISIS-K fighters and facilities,” the CENTCOM press release says.

“As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense,” Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in the release. “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”

The bomb “targeted a system with tunnels and caves making it easier for [ISIS] to target U.S. military advisers and Afghan forces in the area,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday. “We must deny them operational space, which we did.”

Efforts to dismantle ISIS strongholds have been concentrated in Iraq and Syria. But a small stronghold of fighters made up of former Taliban members has grown in eastern Afghanistan since 2014. The group is known as Islamic State Khorasan, according to a U.S. Institute for Peace report released in November.

US Bombs ISIS Afghanistan
A Massive Ordnance Air Blast weapon, more commonly known as the “Mother of All Bombs,” being prepared for testing at the Eglin Air Force Armament Center in 2003. | DoD Photo

“IS-K receives funding from the Islamic State’s Central Command and is in contact with leadership in Iraq and Syria, but the setup and day-to-day operations of the Khorasan province have been less closely controlled than other Islamic State branches such as that in Libya,” the report notes.

The article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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