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Pentagon Investigation on Abbey Gate attack that killed 13 Marines, Soldier, Sailor in the fall of Afghanistan

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Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander, U.S. Central Command, provide testimony at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on ending the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C., Sept. 29, 2021. (DoD photo by Chad J. McNeeley)

Pentagon investigation: ISIS-K attack that killed 13 U.S. Troops “…A single explosive device killed at least 170 Afghan civilians and 13 U.S. service members by explosively directing ball bearings…..fired ball bearings cause wounds that look like gunshots”


Just like that, a simple attack. No Gunmen involved: 183 dead. No explanation of how the global ISIS terrorist threat, collateral of Iraq “War on Terror“, breached the almighty U.S.. coalition “security.” Yesterday Biden said the suicide of one ISIS terror chief in Syria made the world safer?

The Navy Ceremonial Guard transports the casket of Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Maxton W. Soviak, who was killed in the Aug. 26 attack at the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Maddelin Hamm



The Navy Ceremonial Guard transports the casket of Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Maxton W. Soviak, who was killed in the Aug. 26 attack at the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The attack on Abbey Gate that killed American service members and around 170 Afghan civilians during the non-combatant evacuation of Kabul on Aug. 26, was not a complex attack, Marine Corps Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said.  BY JIM GARAMONE,DOD

McKenzie and a team of U.S. Central Command leaders presented the results of an investigation into the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria–Khorasan attack on Hamid Karzai International Airport as U.S. service members worked to evacuate American citizens and Afghans at particular risk from a Taliban-controlled government in Afghanistan. 

A total of 11 Marines, a soldier and a sailor were killed in the ISIS-K attack with a total of 45 wounded.  

Contrary to first reports, it was not a complex attack. “The investigation found that a single explosive device killed at least 170 Afghan civilians and 13 U.S. service members by explosively directing ball bearings through a packed crowd into our men and women at Abbey Gate,” McKenzie said. “The investigation found no definitive proof that anyone was ever hit or killed by gunfire either U.S. or Afghan. This conclusion was based upon the careful consideration of sworn testimony of more than 100 witnesses, and especially those witnesses and Observation Towers — both American and British — who were in locations unaffected by the blast, and that had commanding views of the scene before, during and after the explosive attack.” 

This is counter to what leaders believed on the day of the attack. “At the time, the best information we had … indicated that it was a complex attack by both a suicide bomber and ISIS-K gunmen,” the general said. “We now know that the explosively fired ball bearings cause wounds that look like gunshots, and when combined with a small number of warning shots, that lead many to assume that a complex attack had occurred. The fact that this investigation has contradicted our first impression demonstrates to me that the team went into this investigation with an open mind in search of the truth.” 

The investigators found that military leadership on the ground was appropriately engaged in force protection measures throughout the operation of Abbey Gate. They also found that the medical services that were available and ready, “saved every life they possibly could through heroic efforts,” McKenzie said. 

The investigators came from all services and were led by Army Lt. Gen. Ron Clark, the commander of 3rd Army and Army Forces Central Command. Their task was large, and they examined tactical-level actions at Abbey Gate including gate operations, force protection, force posture, leadership, unit readiness and any relevant actions before, during and after the attack. 

Names of the fallen from the Pentagon

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of 13 service members who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. They died Aug. 26, 2021, as the result of an enemy attack while supporting non-combatant evacuation operations in Kabul, Afghanistan. The incident is under investigation.   

For the Marine Corps, the deceased are: 

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts. 

Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California. 

Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California. 

Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska. 

Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana. 

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas. 

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri.  

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming. 

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California. 

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California. 

Staff Sergeant Darin T. Hoover, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan W. Page, Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, and Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.

Sgt. Nicole L. Gee was assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 24, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. For more information, media may contact [email protected]

Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo was assigned to 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

For the Navy, the deceased is: 

Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio. 

Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak was assigned to 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California.

For the Army, the deceased is: 

Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee. 

Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss was assigned to 9th PSYOP Battalion, 8th PSYOP Group, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.

Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak was killed while supporting Operation Allies Refuge.  
Soviak,.

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