This is technically the first operational use of the huge American MOAB bomb. However the Israelis have already demonstrated the use of smaller yet equally lethal hyper-sonic bunker busters, on the Iranian missile base in Yemen in April 2015, and probably on Syria’s Biochemical complex in Jamraya near Damascus in 2013. The real target today was of course not ISIS, but North Korea and Iran.
The Massive Ordnance Air Blast, whose abbreviation inspired the nickname “Mother of All Bombs,” is the US’s largest nonnuclear bomb, weighing in at over 21,000 pounds.
The bomb was used in combat for the first time Thursday, when it was dropped on an ISIS camp in a rural area of northeast Afghanistan.
The bomb is so big that it has to be dropped by a C-130 transport plane. Its incredible destructive power makes it ideal for hardened targets like ISIS’ network of tunnels and bunkers in Afghanistan.
Video of a MOAB being tested can be viewed below. For perspective, the MOAB’s blast stretches a mile in each direction.