A U.S. Marine Corps carry team transfers the remains of Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo of Lawrence, Massachusetts, on August 29, 2021, at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Biden recognized Pichardoa and others who died in that attack on Friday. File Photo by Jason Minto/U.S. Air Force/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 26 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden said Friday that the Pentagon is keeping pressure on terrorist networks in Afghanistan on the one-year anniversary of a terrorist attack at Kabul Airport that killed 13 U.S. service members.
The United States was conducting a mass evacuation from Kabul in the final days of its occupation in Afghanistan when a terrorist bomb at the Abbey Gate killed the U.S. military members.
"Our nation will forever mourn their sacrifice and honor the memory of those 13 precious souls, stolen from their families, loved ones, brothers- and sisters-in-arms far too soon while performing a noble mission on behalf of our Nation," Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
Biden pointed to efforts taken within the last year to take out Islamic State and al Qaeda leaders as part of the continuing work to root out extremists. In February, Islamic State leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was killed in the raid. He had the top spot after the first leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died in a U.S. raid in 2019.
Earlier this month, the military killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri with a drone strike in Kabul.
"We now maintain pressure against terrorist threats without keeping thousands of troops in harm's way on the ground in Afghanistan," Biden said. "And my administration will continue to hunt down terrorists who seek to harm the United States, wherever they may be."
The White House those who lost their lives a year ago as:
- Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover
- Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario
- Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee
- Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez
- Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page
- Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui
- Navy Petty Officer Third Class Maxton W. Soviak
- Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss
"They were beloved sons and daughters, brothers and sisters," Biden said. "The example of their bravery and selflessness will live forever as a testament to the very best of our American character."
"In the wake of the horrific attack outside Kabul airport, we have redoubled our relentless global campaign against ISIS and other terrorists who threaten Americans."