030311-D-9085M-007 A Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) weapon is prepared for testing at the Eglin Air Force Armament Center on March 11, 2003. The MOAB is a precision-guided munition weighing 21,500 pounds and will be dropped from a C-130 Hercules aircraft for the test. It will be the largest non-nuclear conventional weapon in existence. The MOAB is an Air Force Research Laboratory technology project that began in fiscal year 2002 and is to be completed this year. DoD photo. (Released)
Press secretary Sean Spicer held his daily White House press briefing shortly after the information came out. Commenting on the bombing, he said:
“We targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely, making it easier for them to target U.S. military advisers and Afghan forces in the area. The United States takes the fight against ISIS very seriously and in order defeat the group we must deny them operational space, which we did. The United States took all precautions necessary to prevent civilian casualties and collateral damage as a result of the operation."
US Forces- Afghanistan released a statement saying the bomb destroyed an ISIS stronghold.
"The strike was designed to minimize the risk to AFghan and US forces conducting clearing operations in the area ... 'As ISIS-K's losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense,' said General John Nicholson, commander, US Forces- Afghanistan. 'This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.'"
Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma praised the decision to use the bomb:
“The decision to drop the MOAB in eastern Afghanistan today sends a clear message that the United States is committed and determined to defeating ISIS and other terrorist organizations in Afghanistan. I spoke to President Ghani and our coalition partners about this same commitment when I visited Kabul this February. This strike supports our Afghan partners and their fight against these terrorist groups. I applaud President Trump’s commitment to the fight against terror, giving his military commanders the authorities they need to defeat our enemies and sending a clear message to both our enemies and our allies.”
Senator James Lankford talked to FOX23's Tiffany Alaniz today while in Stillwater:
The MOAB and other weapons are manufactured at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plan in Oklahoma. Learn more about the work they do there on the official Facebook page.
This is a developing story; check this story and FOX23 News for the latest.