Republicans swore not to forget the 13 servicemembers that died in Afghanistan on the two-year anniversary of their deaths, and blamed the loss on President Biden’s withdrawal from the country.
The servicemembers and nearly 200 Afghan civilians were killed at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb at a congested airport gate.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, ordered for the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be lowered to half-staff to honor the servicemembers who died while helping allies flee the country.
“Two years ago today, we tragically lost 13 brave servicemen and women in Afghanistan,” Mr. McCarthy said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “I have directed the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be lowered to half-staff in honor of these American heroes.”
House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik said the loss of the servicemembers “was a direct result of President Biden’s catastrophic Afghanistan withdrawal.”
The Biden administration blamed former President Donald Trump for the messy withdrawal earlier this year, saying that President Biden was “severely constrained by conditions” created by Mr. Trump who had previously negotiated the withdrawal.
Ms. Stefanik, New York Republican, accused the Biden administration of stonewalling investigations into the sudden and chaotic withdrawal from the country after 20 years, but vowed that House Republicans are committed to getting justice for the servicemembers.
The House Oversight Committee launched a probe and held a hearing on the administration’s handling of the withdrawal earlier this year to get answers on the exit, which left troops dead, Kabul in the hands of the Taliban, and behind military equipment worth billions of dollars.
“We will never forget their courageous service and sacrifice on behalf of our greatNation,” Ms. Stefanik said on X. “That day, House Republicans vowed that we would hold President Biden and his Administration accountable for their disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Cory Mills has introduced an impeachment resolution against Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Mr. Mills, Florida Republican, accused the Pentagon chief of intentionally abandoning Americans in Afghanistan and that Mr. Austin failed to adequately prepare for the withdrawal.
Mr. Austin said in a statement Saturday that servicemembers undertook a “tremendously difficult task amid hazardous conditions” during the final days of the war in Afghanistan.
“As we mark this painful milestone, my heart is with the families of these 13 American heroes,” Mr. Austin said. “Today, the entire Department of Defense stands in sorrow with them — along with all of the families whose loved ones gave their lives during our 20 years in Afghanistan. We will never forget what they gave to serve this country that we love.”