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US Drops Most Powerful Non-Nuclear Bomb on ISIS

by Angela Fortuna

In an attempt to send a message, the United States military dropped the most powerful non-nuclear bomb on ISIS targets in Afghanistan on April 13.

Afghan officials originally reported 36 deaths near the Pakistani border, but later confirmed at least 94 Islamic State fighters were killed, including four commanders, according to CNN.

The U.S. military estimated that 600 to 800 active ISIS fighters were in the area at the time of the attack, at 7:32 p.m. local time.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, or MOAB, nicknamed the “mother of all bombs,” weighed 21,600 pounds and stretched 30 feet long, according to U.S. military officials. The GPS-guided bomb was dropped by an MC-130 aircraft controlled by the Air Force Special Operations Command.

The MOAB is capable of destroying an area equivalent to nine city blocks, according to CNN.

The MOAB proved to be successful in targeting an ISIS cave and tunnel complex, along with military personnel. The bomb destroyed three underground tunnels, weapons and ammunition, without civilian casualties, according to CNN. Intense surveillance had been conducted to prevent any civilian deaths before the dropping of the MOAB.

President Donald Trump described the attack as a “another very, very successful mission.”

This attack has caused many to contemplate the repercussions of the incident for the U.S. Tensions between the U.S. and other countries, particularly North Korea, have grown since the attack.

The North Korean military threatened the U.S. on April 14, stating plans to carry out an attack on a major American military base in South Korea, according to the New York Times.

Shortly after, North Korea launched a missile test that failed within seconds. This outcome means the U.S. has no reason to respond to the incident, according to Vice President Mike Pence. If the missile test in North Korea proved to be successful, there is no way of knowing what kind of damage it could have caused, or if the U.S. would have been directly affected.

Since the missile test in North Korea did not involve nuclear weapons, the U.S. felt no need to take notable action.

The dropping of the MOAB has certainly drawn attention to the rising conflict between the U.S. and ISIS. Potential retaliation by ISIS is currently unpredictable.