BALTIMORE (CBS News/WJZ) — A Pentagon spokesman tells CBS News’ David Martin that the U.S. has dropped a bomb containing 11 tons of explosives on an ISIS cave complex in Afghanistan’s Nangahar province.
The GBU-43 bomb is known as the “mother of all bombs.”
It is the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal and has never before been used in combat, CBS reports.
“The strike 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,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the strike targeted a “system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely.” He said the U.S. “took all precautions necessary” to minimize civilian casualties.
The Afghanistan strike had been in the works for a number of months. The weapon was brought into Afghanistan specifically for this mission, Martin reports.
General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was required to get permission to use the weapon.