Pentagon releases names of 13 US service members killed in Kabul airport attack

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Smoke rises from explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. The explosion went off outside Kabul’s airport, where thousands of people have flocked as they try to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Officials offered no casualty count, but a witness said several people appeared to have been killed or wounded Thursday. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

(WHNT) — The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has released the identifies of 13 U.S. service members killed in last week’s airport attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.

According to a report from The Associated Press, as many as 169 Afghans were also killed in the attack.

The service members listed as deceased by the Pentagon include 11 members of U.S. Marine Corps, one member of the U.S. Navy, and one member of the U.S. Army.

  • Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Mass.
  • Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, Calif.
  • Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, Calif.
  • Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Neb. 
  • Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Ind.
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Mo.
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyo.
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. 
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, Calif.
  • Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio
  • Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tenn.

In a statement Saturday, President Joe Biden said, “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,” Biden continued. “May God protect our troops and all those standing watch in these dangerous days.”

In a news conference on Saturday, the Pentagon confirmed the deaths of two members of the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate in retaliation for the deadly suicide bombing.

The drone strike came less than 48 hours after Biden’s address to the nation stating “we will hunt you down and make you pay” in reference to the perpetrators of the attack.

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated both the president and vice president have been advised that “another terror attack in Kabul is likely” as the United States scrambles to evacuate the remainder of its citizens through the airport in Kabul.

“The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high,” Biden said. “Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours. I directed them to take every possible measure to prioritize force protection, and ensured that they have all the authorities, resources and plans to protect our men and women on the ground.”

President Biden has currently set Tuesday, August 31 as the deadline for completing evacuations from the country.

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