The “mother of all bombs” that the U.S. military dropped on Islamic State militants in a remote region of Afghanistan was “the right weapon against the right target,” the commander of the U.S. forces in the country, said Friday.
At a Friday press conference, Gen. John Nicholson, commander for U.S. Forces Afghanistan, also said there is no evidence of any civilian casualties as a result of the bombing.
The strike, delivered Thursday by the U.S. military against a system of caves and tunnels operated by Islamic State militants, used a GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast, commonly referred to by its nickname, the “mother of all bombs.” It is among the largest non-nuclear weapons in the U.S. military’s arsenal and was used for the first time ever in combat on Thursday.
According to an Associated Press report, the Afghan government said the bomb killed 36 Islamic State militants.
At his Friday press conference, held with a translator for the benefit of Afghan press, Nicholson said U.S. and Afghan forces had reached the bombing site.
“I want to assure the people of Afghanistan that our forces take every possible precaution to prevent civilian casualties,” he said, pausing intermittently for the translator. “We had persistent surveillance of the area before, during and after the operation and now we have Afghan and U.S. Forces on the site and see no evidence of civilian casualties nor have there been any reports of civilian casualties.”