On Thursday, the Department of Defense released video footage of the aftermath of the GBU-43/B Mother of All Bombs strike in Afghanistan earlier this month. The footage, which was filmed by Afghan police forces on the scene, shows the bomb’s devastating impact on the site, which U.S. officials say is still an active combat zone, despite the bomb’s destruction.
The U.S. Air Force dropped the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, colloquially known as the Mother of All Bombs, on a network of ISIS-controlled buildings, tunnels, and caves on April 13. The strike was the first time the MOAB, which is the most powerful conventional weapon in the U.S.’s arsenal, had ever been used in active combat.
The new footage is the clearest look at the MOAB strike that has been publicly released. Last week, satellite images captured the site from above, but U.S. forces were tight-lipped about information on the strike, including the possibility of civilian casualties and the number of ISIS fighters that were killed. The MOAB is primarily used as a psychological weapon, and was used despite the fact that the U.S. had other viable tactical options to accomplish the same goal. But fighting in the area has continued unabated since the strike, most recently claiming the lives of two U.S. special forces soldiers earlier on Thursday.
The footage shows Afghan police climbing over rubble and picking through demolished buildings in an area that appears to match satellite imagery of the strike. Several gunshots are audible on the video, suggesting that fighting is still underway in the area. U.S. officials for the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but we’ll update this story if we hear back.