(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, released the following statement today marking the one-year anniversary of the Islamic State’s deadly attacks on U.S. troops and Afghan civilians at HKIA airport in Kabul amid U.S. evacuation efforts:
“Today, we remember the 13 U.S. troops and 73 Afghans who were brutally murdered, as well as the hundreds injured, when terrorist suicide bombers and gunmen attacked innocent civilians at Kabul’s airport. My heart goes out to all the families and loved ones of those we lost – including eleven U.S. Marines, one Army soldier and one Navy medic,” said Shaheen. “The mass atrocities committed that day did not deter the U.S.’ historic evacuation efforts to help our Afghan allies and families in danger find safety – more than 76,000 Afghans were ultimately evacuated as the U.S. mission in Afghanistan came to a close. Those efforts were made possible by the bravery of the American troops that stood guard in protecting HKIA from terrorists. We also still owe a debt of gratitude to the brave Afghans who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. troops on the battlefield who now face imminent danger under Taliban rule – we cannot abandon them, and I’ll keep fighting to secure a pathway to safety for them.”
Senator Shaheen historically partnered with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on efforts to protect Afghans who’ve risked their lives to support U.S. diplomatic efforts abroad by strengthening the Afghan SIV program. She has led bipartisan efforts in Congress to reauthorize additional Afghan SIVs. In addition, Senator Shaheen supported legislation to establish a nonpartisan, independent commission to examine every aspect of the war in Afghanistan, including the political and strategic decisions that transformed a focused military mission into a vast, nation-building campaign that became the longest war in U.S. history.