U.S. bombs ISIS in Afghanistan with deadliest non-nuclear weapon ever

"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.

Earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump dubbed the MOAB bombing as a successful event, saying the country is proud of its army.

Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said on Thursday that it was the first-ever combat use of the bomb.

The Pentagon said in its statement that "US Forces took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties with this strike".

Andy White with the University of Tennessee's Aerospace and Defense Business Institute, spent 20 years in the Air Force and worked with the unit that pushed the massive bomb out of a U.S. Air Force MC-130.

The MOAB is a custom-made Air Force weapon that has been in the arsenal for more than a decade but never used on the battlefield, although it was available throughout the Iraq War.

Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement that the strike was created to minimize the risk to Afghan and United States forces in the Achin area "while maximizing the destruction" of ISIS fighters and tunnels, bunkers and caves.

He said the bomb was used at around 7pm local time and described the device as "a large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon". He added that, GBU-43 was "the right munition" to use against the Islamic State since it uses roadside bombs, bunkers and tunnels.

Estimates of its strength in Afghanistan vary. "We have given them total authorization, and that's what they're doing, and frankly that's why they've been so successful lately", he said.

The Afghan Taliban, which is trying to overthrow the US-backed government in Kabul, are fiercely opposed to Islamic State and the two group have clashed as they seek to expand territory and influence.

Afghan defence minister spokesman Dawlat Waziri said no civilians were harmed in the strike, a claim that has not been independently verified.

The GBU-43 is an evolution of the unguided 15,000-pound BLU-82 bomb.

Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan, is a hotbed of IS militancy.

Ismail Shinwari, the governor of Achin district, said the USA attack was carried out in a remote mountainous area with no civilian homes nearby and that there had been no reports of injured civilians.

  • Leroy Wright