UPDATE: President Trump said from the White House that he is proud of the U.S. military for their actions and called the dropping of the bomb "another successful event."
"Everybody knows exactly what happened. What I do is I authorize my military. We have the greatest military in the world and they’ve done a job as usual. We have given them total authorization and that’s what they’re doing and frankly that’s why they’ve been so successful lately," Trump said. "If you look at what’s happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really to what’s happened over the past eight years, you’ll see there’s a tremendous difference, tremendous difference. So we have incredible leaders in the military, and we have incredible military. We are very proud of them. This was another very, very successful mission."
The United States has dropped a 21,000 pound bomb in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan in response to Green Beret Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar being killed in the region by ISIS terrorists last week. Nangarhar Province sit on the eastern border with Pakistan, which has been a longtime terrorist stronghold. This type of bomb, a GBU-43B, has never been used in combat until now. It is the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. Air Force arsenal.
"As ISIS-K's losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense," General John W. Nicholson, U.S. Forces Commander for Afghanistan said in a statement. "This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K."
According to CENTCOM and the White House, "U.S. forces took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties with this strike."
There are a number of caves and tunnels in the region where Al Qaeda and ISIS have strongholds. The bomb was directed at an ISIS tunnel. According to Fox News' Jennifer Griffith, the blast area for the bomb is a mile wide.
"Around 7 p.m. local time in Afghanistan, the United States military used a GBU-43B weapon in Afghanistan. The GBU-43B is a 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 advisors and Afghan forces in the area," Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday about the drop. "The United States takes the fight against ISIS seriously and in order to defeat the group, we must deny them operational space, which we did."
This is a developing story, stay tuned for updates.
This story has been updated with additional information.