U.S. forces have dropped what is known as the "mother of all bombs" in Afghanistan.

The device is the largest non-nuclear device in the Air Force arsenal, Fox News' Jennifer Griffin reported. It was dropped in Nangarhar Province, an eastern area near the Pakistan border. 

It's the first time the 21,000-pound ordnance has been used in combat, said Griffin.

Video released Friday morning showed the massive impact of the weapon, which killed 36 ISIS militants and no civilians.

The device, developed in 2003 by the U.S. Air Force, is called the M.O.A.B, short for Massive Ordnance Air Blast. It's often referred to as the "mother of all bombs."

The attack was launched in an area where a U.S. Green Beret was killed Saturday by small-arms fire while operating against ISIS targets. 


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Officials told Fox News it was dropped out of a C-130 cargo plane and targeted ISIS tunnel networks.

U.S. Central Command said in a statement: "As ISIS-K's losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense," said General John W. Nicholson, Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan. "This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K."

ISIS-K refers to the branch of the Islamic State that operates in Pakistan, Afghanistan & Uzbekistan.

Griffin described the MOAB as a "concussive weapon" which does not penetrate the ground, but can destroy tunnels and a large surface area.

The Nangarhar region is extremely mountainous and has long been a base of operations for terrorist groups like al Qaeda and the Haqqani Network.

Usama bin Laden hid out in the Tora Bora region of Nangarhar following the 9/11 terror attacks. 

Griffin said Defense Secretary James Mattis is at the Pentagon and was meeting this morning with the Turkish defense minister.

She emphasized the geopolitical message that the United States is sending by using this weapon at this time. Griffin pointed out that North Korea is reportedly preparing a sixth nuclear test, despite objections from the U.S. and China. 

In remarks Thursday afternoon, President Donald Trump praised the mission as "successful," but said he wasn't sure whether it would send a message to North Korea.

"It doesn't make any difference if it does or not. North Korea is a problem. The problem will be taken care of," he said, adding that China is "working very hard" to deter further North Korean aggression in the region.

The strike also comes just one week after 59 U.S. missiles targeted a Syrian air base in response to a chemical attack against civilians by the Assad regime.

U.S. officials have also said they suspect Russia may be helping the Taliban in Afghanistan. 

A top U.S. general told Congress two weeks ago it was "fair to assume" that Russia is providing support to the Taliban, including possibly weapons.

The video below from 2003 shows a test of the MOAB. 

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made brief remarks about the strike in his daily briefing.

"The GBU-43 is a large, powerful and accurately-delivered weapon. 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," he said, adding that the military took "all precautions necessary" to prevent civilian casualties and collateral damage.

He referred reporters to the Pentagon for further details.

Officials said in a statement that the airstrike is not a retaliation for the Green Beret's death. 

"It was the right weapon for the right target, and not in retaliation," the Pentagon said. 

Watch Griffin's report above and stay tuned to Fox News for more on the military action. 


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Here's more on the MOAB and the area from Fox News Research...