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Rahmat Gul / AP

The U.S. dropped the "Mother of all Bombs" (MOAB) on ISIS militants in Afghanistan on Thursday, but the White House has so far deferred all questions about the decision to do so.

What they're saying: "This was the right weapon for the right time," Gen. John W. Nicholson told reporters about the MOAB. He explained that ISIS militants in Afghanistan are using caves and tunnels, and our military's ground forces would not have been enough.

Between the lines: Although the White House hasn't said dropping the bomb was a form of retaliation, keep in mind there has been a series of ISIS attacks in the last few weeks that could have fueled the fire.

  • March 22 - Westminster Bridge Attack
  • April 7 - Truck attack in Stockholm, Sweden
  • April 8 - Special Forces Sgt. Mark De Alencar killed in Afghanistan during counter-ISIS operations.
  • April 9 - Palm Sunday attacks in Egypt

Why now? The attack comes at a time when the Pentagon has more autonomy to pursue military operations, granted by President Trump. He has yet to say if he signed off on the attack, but has praised the action as an example of the military's "total authorization" to act strategically with little political interference.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to 4 years in prison

An anti-coup protest in Yangon, Myanmar.Photo: Hkun Lat/Getty Images

A Myanmar court sentenced the country's ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on Monday to four years in prison on charges of "inciting public unrest" and breaking COVID-19 protocols, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: It's the first of several verdicts that could result in the 76-year-old Nobel laureate being imprisoned for the rest of her life. The 11 charges she faces have been widely criticised as politically motivated.

5 hours ago - World

Pope Francis denounces European governments' migrant response

Pope Francis adresses refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos on Sunday. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis criticized European countries' response to migrants and asylum seekers during his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Sunday.

Why it matters: The pope said "migration is a humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone," but little had changed in the global response to displaced peoples since his first visit to Lesbos five years ago, per a transcript of his remarks. "Human lives, real people, are at stake. ... let us stop this shipwreck of civilization!"

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."