This Is What The 'Mother Of All Bombs' Looks Like When It Hits Its Target

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Air Force photo

On Thursday, the U.S. Air Force used a GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb in combat for the first time in history.


The second-largest non-nuclear bomb in the Pentagon’s arsenal, the ordnance was dropped on an ISIS tunnel network and insurgents in the Achin district of the Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.

“The airstrike was designed 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,” CENTCOM said in a statement.

First tested in 2003 and unofficially nicknamed the "mother of all bombs," the GBU-43 is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition that utilizes an airburst detonation that increases its destructive range. It is second in the U.S. military’s arsenal of massive bombs only to the GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator, which weighs in at a whopping 30,000 pounds and can cut through 22 feet of concrete or over 100 feet of earth, according to Wired.

Yes, this is a massive, massive bomb, but you don’t fully get a sense of its power until you see what it looks like in action:

This may be the first deployment of the GBU-43 in U.S. military history, but based on Pentagon statements, it likely won’t be the last. Previously, the bomb was only used in psychological warfare: intimidation.

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

President Donald Trump praised the strike as a success.

"We have incredible leaders in the military and we have incredible military and we are very proud of them," he said. "This was another very, very successful mission."

Seven of the twelve Soldiers participating in the Army National Guard Military Funeral Honors Level 2 course at Fort Indiantown Gap practice folding the flag April 25. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Zane Craig)

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Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.

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"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.

In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.

"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper (Associated Press photo)

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Roughly 1,000 U.S. troops are withdrawing from Syria, leaving a residual force of between 100 and 150 service members at the Al Tanf garrison, a U.S. official said.

"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'

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Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.

Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the United States unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.

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