A video of the massive U.S. strike using the MOAB, nicknamed 'the mother of all bombs' on ISIS targets in eastern Afghanistan was released on Friday, as the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said that the decision to deploy the largest American conventional bomb was a purely tactical decision.
"This was the right weapon for the right target," General John Nicholson told reporters at a news conference in Kabul, who added that the decision was done in communication with officials in Washington.
>> Analysis: 'Mother of all bombs' is Trump's mother of all statements >>
The 21,600-pound (9,797-kg) GBU-43 bomb, was dropped from an MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of the eastern province of Nangarhar bordering Pakistan against a network of tunnels that Afghan and U.S. officials said was being used by militants linked to Islamic State.
Earlier on Friday, the Afghan Defense Ministry said 36 ISIS militants were killed in the strike. The claims have not been independently verified, but ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said no civilians were harmed.
"No civilian has been hurt and only the base which Daesh used to launch attacks in other parts of the province, was destroyed," Waziri said in a statement, using an Arabic term for Islamic State, which has established a small stronghold in eastern Afghanistan and launched deadly attacks on the capital, Kabul.
President Donald Trump touted the bombing on Thursday as evidence of a more muscular U.S. foreign policy since he took office in January after eight years of President Barack Obama.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now