Biden Will Pay Respects To Soldiers Killed In Kabul Attack
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are traveling to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to honor and mourn service members who lost their lives as their bodies return home.
On Sunday the president and first lady will participate in the “dignified transfer,” a military ritual whereby the remains of fallen soldiers killed in foreign combat return to the United States.
They will also meet with the families of the 13 U.S. service members who lost their lives last Thursday in a suicide bombing at the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport. U.S. and coalition forces have been rapidly working to evacuate foreign citizens and Afghan allies who would be at risk under the newly enacted Taliban regime.
Among the deceased were 11 Marines, identified as Staff Sgt. Darin Hoover, 31; Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25; Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23; Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22; Cpl. Daegan Page, 23; Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, 22; Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, 20; Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, 20; Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20; Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, 20; and Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20.
Navy hospital-man Maxton Soviak, 22, was also among those killed, as well as 23-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, according to the Defense Department.
Biden warned on Saturday that the “threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high,” and he described another attack as “highly likely in the next 24-36 hours .”
Shortly after the president issued that warning, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a security alert warning U.S. citizens near the airport to avoid the area, citing a “specific, credible threat .” There have been similar warnings issued in recent days as the troops working to evacuate at-risk individuals are themselves a target for ISIS-K, the terrorist organization responsible for the attack.
Since the Taliban overthrew the Afghan government during an 11-day offensive that surprised officials, the U.S. and other allies have evacuated approximately 114,400 people as of Sunday morning, according to the White House. Roughly 120,000 people have been relocated during the entire month of August.
Biden vowed to hold those responsible for the bombing accountable, saying, “To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: we will not forgive, we will not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay.”
The Pentagon announced that they had conducted a successful airstrike in which two “high profile ISIS targets were killed and one was wounded” on Friday night, though officials on Saturday declined to specify if these individuals were directly involved in Thursday’s attack, said to have a death toll north of 170, describing the ISIS targets only as “planners and facilitators.”
Biden has repeatedly reaffirmed his commitment to the self-imposed Tuesday deadline to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan amid concerns that this would not allow enough time to complete all necessary evacuations.
Author: Mike Brest
Source: Washington Examiner: Biden will pay respects to soldiers killed in Kabul attack