President Donald Trump has stated that he is "very proud" after the U.S. military dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal on a suspected ISIS base in Afghanistan.
On April 13, the U.S. Air Force dropped a GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast Bomb on a remote location in the Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. Weighing in at more than 21,000 pounds, the bomb has been nicknamed the "Mother Of All Bombs," or MOAB.
It was the first time the MOAB had been deployed in a battlefield. Trump did not state whether he had personally authorized the bombing, but expressed pride in the U.S. military for the airstrike.
"Everybody knows exactly what happens, so -- and what I do is I authorize my military," Trump said, according to Business Insider. "We have the greatest military in the world, and they've done a job as usual, so we have given them total authorization, and that's what they're doing. And, frankly, that's why they've been so successful lately."
The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, had personally authorized the bombing. He had been given authority to do so by U.S. Central Commander Gen. Joseph Votel, according to CNN.
Trump has given U.S. military commanders broader discretion to order strikes than former President Barack Obama. In Trump's view, giving more decision-making authority to commanders has improved U.S. capability on the battlefield.
"If you look at what's happened over the last eight weeks and compare that, really, to what's happened over the last eight years, you'll see there's a tremendous difference," Trump continued. "So we have incredible leaders in the military, and we have an incredible military, and we are very proud of them. And this was another very, very successful mission."
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters the MOAB had been deployed to demolish an area crucial for ISIS' logistical capability in Afghanistan.
"The United States takes the fight against ISIS very seriously and in order to defeat the group we must deny them operational space, which we did." Spicer said, adding that the MOAB had targeted "a system a tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters use to move around freely."
So far, there has been no official estimate of how many militants or civilians were killed by the strike.
The MOAB had been deployed shortly after a U.S. Green Beret was killed in action in the Nangarhar Province. An anonymous U.S. defense official has asserted that the strike was not in response to the casualty.
"It was the right weapon for the right target, and not in retaliation," the official told Fox News.