The U.S. Air Force has deployed a so-called GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, known as the “Mother of All Bombs,” in Afghanistan, according to reports citing military personnel. The bombing was confirmed by White House spokesman Sean Spicer in his daily press briefing.
The more-than-21,000-pound bomb, referred to as a bunker buster, was dropped Thursday by an MC-130 aircraft, operated by an Air Force special unit, NBC reported.
Sources told the news organization that the mission targeted an ISIS tunnel network and personnel in the Achin district of Nangarhar Province, near the border with Pakistan.
MOAB is the largest nonnuclear bomb and is valued primarily for its ability to penetrate deep into Earth’s surface. According to an article from the Global Research Centre for Research on Globalization, such bombs are able to drill through 200 feet of reinforced concrete.
It is reportedly the first time MOAB has been used in an actual military operation. Below is a video from the testing of the bomb, which can deliver a blast with a radius of about a mile:
White House press secretary Spicer said the MOAB target was a system of caves and tunnels used by ISIS.
Later, U.S. President Donald Trump speaking to reports Thursday afternoon said, “We are proud of [the U.S. military] and this was another very, very successful mission.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 13, 2017
Geopolitical worries, including freshly strained U.S.-Russia ties and growing aggression with North Korea, had Wall Street markets appearing to take a fresh leg lower as news of the bomb’s being dropped surfaced on Thursday. The S&P 500 index
finished off 0.7% at 2,328; the Dow Jones Industrial Average
lost about 138 points at 20,453; and the Nasdaq Composite Index
retreated 0.5% at 5,805.
Asked if the Moab-drop sent a message to North Korea, Trump said: “I don’t know if this sends a message. It doesn’t matter if it was or not.” He referred to North Korea is a problem and said it would get solved, pointing to his growing relationship with China’s President Xi Jinping, which holds influence in the Asian region.
Meanwhile so-called haven assets, which draw buyers during times of uncertainty, such as gold, were rising. Gold
already trending higher previously, settled up 0.8% at $1,288.50 an ounce, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note
was hovering around at five-month low at 2.23%.