Say his name: U.S. Marine Jared Schmitz was killed in the Kabul terrorist attacks. He was only 20.

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UNITED STATES- According to reports, 20-year-old United States Marine Jared Schmitz has been named as one of the 13 U.S. services members who were killed in August 26th’s terrorist attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) has claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings in Kabul that killed 10 U.S. Marines, one U.S. Navy medic and another two service members, along with at least 90 others and has left at least 150 others wounded. 

Among those killed was Schmitz of Wentzville, Missouri. Schmitz had been deployed to Kabul from Jordan on his first deployment as a Marine. He graduated high school in 2019 and became a Marine in 2020.

Mark Schmitz, the young Marine’s father, told FOX2 Now that his son always wanted to join the U.S. Armed Forces to defend his country. He said:

“Becoming a Marine is something he always wanted to do and I’ve never seen a young man train as hard as he did to be the best soldier he could be.

And that’s a big part of why, obviously, we’re all devastated and sad, but there’s so much anger right now because he wasn’t even given the opportunity to demonstrate all the skills he learned and perfected while in the Corps and he took his job very seriously.”

He added:

“And somebody just came along and took the easy way out and ended everything for them and us and for the others that were killed.”

Mark stated that the Marines notified his family around 2:40 a.m. about his son’s death. Schmitz’s father said:

“His life meant so much more. I’m so incredibly devastated that I won’t be able to see the man that he was very quickly growing into becoming.”

He added:

“He just went over to [Afghanistan] in the last two weeks … he was one of the 6,000 or so troops call in.”

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) posted a statement on Twitter about Schmitz’s death, stating that he had spoken to the Schmitz family and “promised his family that his service and his legacy will not be forgotten.”

State Rep. Nick Schroer posted about Schmitz on Facebook, saying:

“He paid the ultimate sacrifice yesterday serving our nation. This young Marine was from St. Charles County and is a true American hero. Keep his family in your prayers today.”

Other U.S. Marines and service members killed in the attacks, thus far identified, include Max Soviak, Kareem Nikoui, Rylee McCollum, David Lee Espinoza, Taylor Hoover, and Hunter Lopez.

Soviak, a man in his 20’s who was a Navy Corpsman, died at the hands of Islamic terrorists during the attack outside of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan.

Soviak was from the small Ohio town of Berlin Heights where he graduated from Edison High School in 2017. The school said in a statement:

“Max was a good student who was active in sports and other activities throughout his school career. He was well respected and liked by everyone who knew him.”

Max’s sister posted a heartbreaking tribute to her younger brother on Instagram, saying:

“I’ve never been one for politics and I’m not going to start now. What I will say is that my beautiful, intelligent, beat-to-the-sound of his own drum, annoying, charming baby brother was killed yesterday helping to save lives. He was a (expletive) medic there to help people and now he is gone and my family will never be the same.”

She added:

“There is a large Maxton size hole that will never be filled. He was just a kid. We are sending kids over there to die, kids with families that now have holes just like ours. I’m not one for praying but damn could those kids over there use some right now. My heart is in pieces and I don’t think they’ll ever fit back right again.”

The U.S. has warned that more attacks could come ahead of President Joe Biden’s fast-approaching August 31st deadline to withdrawal U.S. forces from Afghanistan. 

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Video: Violence outside airport in Kabul, people covered in blood as Afghans desperately seek refuge

August 23rd, 2021

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Video has emerged from the area outside of the airport in Kabul, where gunfire can be heard, and a man is laid out on the ground – covered in blood and being tended to by a distraught woman.

The video reaffirms that the on the ground situation outside of the Kabul airport seems to be only escalating with the presence of the Taliban.

There’s little surprise in knowing that with the presence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, violence is playing out.

With the Taliban having effectively taken control of Afghanistan, many Afghans are crowding outside of the airport in Kabul, desperate for the chance to escape the country.

With video that came from the ground outside the airport on August 21st, one can catch a mere glimpse into the very circumstances these people are trying to flee from. If one were completely oblivious to the current ongoings in Kabul, one could easily mistake the footage as coming from a skirmish in a warzone.

Footage shows a man, laid out on the ground and drenched in blood, while a woman is crouched beside him, in tears and cradling his head. Gunshots can be heard going off nearby, and it’s frankly difficult to tell if the man on the ground is even alive.

Screams are emanating from all around, and the camera pans over to see a man with blood on his face.

This video was shot at the same time that the U.S. Embassy issued warnings for people to not make their way over to the Kabul airport, having cited “potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport.”

Additional video that was captured on August 20th shows another large crowd outside the airport in Kabul, where again screams can be heard and children visibly distressed, as the sounds of gunfire are heard.

The situation in Kabul is extremely fluid, with circumstances constantly changing. An August 18th report from CNBC noted that Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman confirmed that the Taliban were not being as cooperative in allowing Afghans the ability to flee the country:

“We have seen reports that the Taliban, contrary to their public statements and their commitments to our government, are blocking Afghans who wish to leave the country from reaching the airport.”

A report from CNN on August 22nd stated that situation at the Kabul airport is resulting in some families being separated and even sent to different countries when being evacuated from the country:

“Conditions worsened throughout Sunday, with the airport’s entry gates for the most part closed and instances of families being split up and sent to different countries in the chaos.”

A source for the network claimed that the family separations are not intentional, but “they’ve had cases where mum, dad, and children all end up in different countries.”

Thousands are reportedly continuing to gather outside the airport currently, in an effort to flee the tyranny and subjugation of a government established by force & violence that they never voted or asked for.

The Associated Press reported on August 22 that at least seven Afghans were killed in crushes stemming from the thousands trying to gain access to the airport over the past week.

President Joe Biden told reporters that as many as 11,000 people have been airlifted out of Kabul during a 36-hour period over the weekend, but didn’t provide any details outside of that figure. 

The president has also reaffirmed that American citizens and Afghans who aided Americans during our time in the country will be prioritized for evacuation.

However, American citizens that are currently in Afghanistan are still being advised to abstain from coming to the Kabul airport until they receive explicit instructions to do so.

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Taliban reportedly opens fire on crowd of protesters in Jalalabad who were fighting for the National Flag

(Originally published August 18th, 2021)

JALALABAD, AFGHANISTAN – According to reports, protesters that had formed in Jalalabad to oppose the replacement of the Afghanistan national flag in public areas by the Taliban led to bloodshed, as Taliban fighters reportedly opened fire on the crowd of protesters.

On August 17th, hundreds of citizens in Jalalabad flocked to the streets to protest the Taliban’s removal of the nation’s flag to replace it with the emblem of the Taliban in public areas.

Video captured portions of the protest, with citizens marching through the streets, with some waving the national flag of Afghanistan.

However, the protesting and flag waving did not end well for those who defied the Taliban.

NDTV reported that this protest by the Jalalabad locals led to the Taliban firing upon the crowd, killing three and injuring dozens of others.

Video was shared to Twitter showing the locals running as gunshots rang out.

Jalalabad was reportedly the final city to come under the control of the Taliban before the group successfully took control of Kabul, with video shared to Twitter showing the Taliban entering the city on August 14th.

https://twitter.com/Rashid_OfficiaI/status/1426746865299738626

While having ended in bloodshed, the demonstration in Jalalabad appears to be the first sort of pushback against the Taliban since the overthrow of the government and seizure of Afghanistan.

The Taliban have attempted to manifest a more progressive front following the seizure, promising a broad exoneration, and encouraging women to join their government activities, not-to-distant memories of public lashings, executions, and stoning for acts of things like adultery during the Taliban’s rule from 1996 to 2001 are still vivid.

But if what took place in Jalalabad shows evidence of, it’s that there is some level of resistance to recognizing the Taliban as the country’s official government. Whether these sorts of demonstrations continue moving forward remains to be seen.

While the current ongoings with regard to the Taliban taking over Afghanistan has a complex history of over 20 years – with many proverbial ingredients stemming from multiple administrations – Americans overall disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the situation. 

A recent survey conducted by the The Trafalgar Group and Convention of States Action, which The Hill reported on, found that 69% of survey responders did not approve of President Biden’s handling of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. 

Even when breaking it down by political parties, 48% of polled Democrats disapproved of how President Biden employed the exit strategy in the country. 

Even CNN contributor Frida Ghitis, who still managed to attribute some level of culpability to former President Trump, wrote that “much of the fault” for what happened in Afghanistan rests in President Biden’s lap: 

“There’s no question that much of the fault lies with President Joe Biden. He made the final decision to withdraw. He chose to abide by a disastrous agreement crafted under the previous administration; moved the troops out with obviously poor planning for contingencies, and is the president under whose watch the two-decade war ended in a humiliating rush for exits for the US and NATO, as the previous regime took control.”

All the while, President Biden has been pointing the finger of blame at everyone but himself. 

According to a report from Reuters, President Biden laid blame on the Afghan military and officials for the disaster that unfolded earlier in August, characterizing the forces to something akin to a band of cowards fleeing: 

“The truth is: This did unfold more quickly than we anticipated. So what’s happened? Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military gave up, sometimes without trying to fight.”

President Biden then redirected his energy toward rhetorically questioning how many more American lives needed to be lost to remain in a country he framed as being plagued by a “civil war”:

“How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghans – Afghanistan’s civil war, when Afghan troops will not? How many more lives – American lives – is it worth? How many endless rows of headstones at Arlington National Cemetery?”

The president is doing his best to frame this ill-executed exit from Afghanistan as him falling on a proverbial sword, so that a future administration wouldn’t have to tackle the issue: 

“Our leaders did that in Vietnam when I got here as (a) young man. I will not do it in Afghanistan. I know my decision will be criticized but I would rather take all that criticism than pass this decision on to another president.”

While President Biden has proclaimed to “stand squarely behind” his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, this is going to be one stain on his presidency that will be unlikely to come out.

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