Here's what it looked like when the 'mother of all bombs' hit an ISIS hideout

Alex Lockie

Eglin Air Force Base via AP

The US on Friday posted footage of its largest nonnuclear weapon's first combat use, against 36 ISIS fighters entrenched in caves and bunkers in northeastern Afghanistan on Thursday.

"The strike was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and US forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximizing the destruction of ISIS-K fighters and facilities," the Pentagon said on Thursday of the strike. ISIS-K refers to ISIS-Khorasan, the terror group's branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The deployment of the "mother of all bombs" comes from a strategy that started during the Obama administration, according to Scott Stewart, the vice president of tactical analysis at Stratfor, a geopolitical-analysis firm.

Stewart said that by keeping the US footprint "as limited as possible" on the ground in Afghanistan and instead providing air support, the US could push back on ISIS and Al Qaeda's narrative in Afghanistan — that the US and the West represent imperialist, invasive forces.

"The more we can turn over the ground fighting to Afghan forces and provide friendly air," the better, Stewart told Business Insider.

He said it would have taken weeks and many American lives to clear ISIS's network of caves with infantry troops on the ground.

Watch the blast:


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