13 service members killed, 18 injured in bombings at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan

There are at least 180 people dead and 155 injured after the bombings at the Hamid Karzai International Airport (Kabul Airport) in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul. Among those are 13 decreased and 18 injured U.S. service members. This is the first U.S. military casualty in Afghanistan in 18 months.


Photo Courtesy of @marines on Instagram

U.S. Marines honoring their fallen during a Ramp Ceremony at Hamid Karzai International Airport.

On Thursday, Aug. 26, an Islamic suicide bomber from the terrorist group ISIS Khorosan (ISIS-K) attacked the Kabul Airport at the Abbey Gate. This attack was followed by a gunman at the Abbey Gate as well as a secondary bombing at a hotel near the airport. These attacks left 180 dead and 155 injured. These attacks are just a small part of the chaos that has been unfolding since the U.S. withdrew its military from the country of Afghanistan.

The U.S. military occupied Afghanistan starting in 2001 following the al-Qaeda terrorist attack on Sept. 11. This was done to push back on various Islamic terrorist groups including al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS-K. In April of 2021, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. troops in Afghanistan would be completely withdrawn. Once the withdrawal began and the largest U.S. airbase, Bagram Air Field, was vacated, the Taliban began to move in.

By mid-August, the Taliban had control of about 65% of Afghanistan. With over 400,000 Afghans forced out of their homes and in danger, both the U.S. and Canada made plans to evacuate Afghans and give them refuge if they help their militaries. To counteract this, the Taliban offered amnesty and even asked women to join them. This is significant considering the Taliban has historically excluded women from government and has not even allowed them to work or get an education. 

Amid the rush of Afghans attempting to leave the country, evacuation flights were temporarily halted after five people were killed in the Kabul Airport as well as two people falling while trying to climb aboard a U.S. military aircraft. After one day, the flights were resumed at the Kabul Airport under control of the U.S. military. 

President Biden vowed to get all Americans stuck in Afghanistan home, including the troops. 

The attacks at the Kabul Airport are now being marked as one of the deadliest days for the U.S. military in Afghanistan in the past decade. 

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has identified the fallen as one Army soldier, one Navy sailor and 11 Marines.  

“Their bravery and selflessness has enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far,” President Biden said. “May God protect our troops and all those standing watch in these dangerous days.”

After notifying next of kin, DoD released the names of the troops killed.

23-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, 22-year-old Navy Hosipitalman Maxton Soviak, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, 23-year-old Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole Gee, 31-year-old Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin Hoover, 22-year-old Marine Corps Cpl, Hunter Lopez, 20-year-old Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20-year-old Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, 20-year-old Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 25-year-old Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 22-year-old Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, 20-year-old Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz and 23-year-old Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan Page. 


President Biden made a promise to retaliate against those responsible for the attacks. Following that statement, two ISIS-K members were killed by a U.S. air drone strike. President Biden said that would not be the last strike. 

“We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay,” in a statement on Saturday, President Biden said.