- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
President Joe Biden has warned that another attack was “highly likely” over the next 24 to 36 hours as the names of the killed US troops were released.
The bodies of 13 American troops killed in a suicide bomb attack onThursday by the Islamic State group’s ISIS-K, were on their way to home to the United States, the Pentagon said.
The killed service people were named as US army Navy corpsman Max Soviak, Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, and Marines Hunter Lopez, Rylee McCollum, David Lee Espinoza, Kareem Nikoui, Jared Schmitz, Daegan Page, Taylor Hoover, Humberto Sanchez, Johanny Rosario, Dylan Merola and Nicole Gee.
In the last pictures taken before she was killed in the Kabul airport blast Marine Sergeant Gee was captured on camera helping a line of evacuees on to a C-17 Globemaster to escape Afghanistan. She was also pictured holding an Afghan baby.
The final journeys for the dead soldiers marked a painful moment in a nearly 20-year American war that cost more than 2,400 U.S. military lives and is ending with the return to power of a Taliban movement that was ousted when U.S. forces invaded in October 2001.
Five of the 13 killed service members were 20 years old, meaning they were all babies on 9/11. All were 25 or younger, except one.
Joe Biden said in a statement: “The 13 service members that we lost were heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our highest American ideals and while saving the lives of others. Their bravery and selflessness has enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far.”
A U.S. drone attack in response to the IS bombing killed two militants, the Pentagon said. “This strike was not the last,” Biden said in a statement after meeting with his national security team and military commanders.
Biden announced in April that the 2,500 to 3,000 troops who remained would be out by September, ending what he has called America’s forever war.
Biden said in his statement that commanders had told him that “an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours” and Kirby said the drone strike had not ended the threat at the Kabul airport.
“They have lost some capability to plan and to conduct missions, but make no mistake, nobody’s writing this off and saying, ‘Well, we got them. We don’t have to worry about ISIS-K anymore.’ Not the case,” Kirby told a news conference.
Families of the killed soldiers hit criticised Biden’s “chaotic” withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years.
Kareem Nikoui’s father Steve told Fox News on Friday night that he was angry at the conditions the Marines were working in, calling the situation at Hamid Karzai International Airport a ‘turkey shoot’.
“I’m a carpenter; I’ve never served. But even I could see that that was a dangerous situation,” he said.
“From what I saw of the airport that they were in it looked like a turkey shoot.”
“It was just so chaotic and not planned out,” the grieving father said of the evacuation, which funnelled thousands of Afghans seeking to leave the country to screening checkpoints manned by US troops.