Trump calls Afghanistan bombing a 'very successful mission'

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump said he is proud of U.S. forces after a "very successful mission" in Afghanistan.
  • On Thursday, U.S. forces dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb on a series of caves and tunnels controlled by the Islamic State in Afghanistan.
  • The bombing comes on the heels of last week's missile strike on a Syrian air base.
Trump: Afghanistan bombing 'very successful'

President Donald Trump said he is very proud of the U.S. military after what he called a "very, very successful mission."

Earlier, U.S. forces dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb on an ISIS tunnel complex in Afghanistan.

"Everybody knows exactly what happened and what I do is I authorize my military. We have the greatest military in the world and they've done their job as usual. So, we have given them total authorization," Trump said after meeting with first responders at the White House on Thursday.

The president said his confidence in the military is "frankly why they've been so successful lately."

"If you look at what's happened over the last eight weeks and compare that to really what's happened over the last eight years, you'll see there's a tremendous difference," he said.

The Pentagon said the strike was "designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. Forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximizing the destruction of ISIS-K fighters and facilities."

Trump did not provide further details on the operation.

Earlier, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the bomb targeted caves that ISIS fighters used to "move around freely." He explained that in order to defeat the terrorist group, the U.S. must deny it operational space.

Spicer said that the military did what it could to avoid civilian casualties and collateral damage. He declined to give further details, saying it would be best to direct those questions to the Department of Defense or the U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

There were no immediate reports of civilian casualties after the bombing, which took place in a remote part of Afghanistan.

ISIS has been using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels as the terror group's losses increased, Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, explained in a statement.

"This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K," Nicholson said in a statement.

Thursday's bomb comes on the heels of last week's missile strike on a Syria-government air base, which Trump authorized in response to what U.S. intelligence officials said was a chemical attack carried out by the Syrian regime.

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