Gold star parents Steve Nikoui and Shana Chappell, who lost their son in the Afghanistan withdrawal, called for Joint Chiefs of Chairman Gen. Mark Milley’s resignation during a Monday appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
Their son, 20-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, was one of 13 service members who lost their lives in the deadly Aug. 26 attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. The ISIS bomber responsible for the attack was a former prisoner released by the Taliban after the U.S. left Bagram Airbase after a 20-year occupation.
Chappell said she still awaits accountability towards the U.S. generals and government officials for the death of her son. Her husband followed up by calling for Milley to resign from his position.
“I’m still waiting for them to be held accountable for it. For some reason, they want to put the blame on everyone but themselves but it is actually their faults, all of what’s happened. The thirteen that are dead is their fault,” Chappell said.
“I’d like to see General Milley resign,” Nikoui added. “I mean, he should be held responsible, he’s the joint chiefs of staff. And when I questioned him in Dover, Delaware, as to why wasn’t he planning this evacuation on any better, he was very hostile and was like ‘well, this has been planned for months.’ Situations like this are very fluid and it takes the generals that are on the ground to be able to change direction of any given task immediately.”
Nikoui said that generals allowed the Taliban to “dictate” the evacuation of U.S. troops from Afghanistan despite the apparent need for more troops. He added that President Joe Biden and the generals have not taken any accountability for the 13 slain servicemen. (RELATED: ‘My Life Changed Forever’: Gold Star Dad Describes Waiting For Marines To Tell Him That His Son Died In Kabul)
Nikoui said that the nation did not protect their son “the way he needs to be protected” and instead allowed the Taliban to takeover Bagram Airbase and that the release of the bomber shows “the carelessness” of the administration.
“We were able to keep our son alive… for the last twenty years,” Nikuoi said. “Then he goes and joins the military to serve our country and our country can’t protect him the way that he needs to be protected. Bagram Airbase was a more substantial base that they couldn’t have done this evacuation from. Instead, they let the Taliban overtake that.”
“Then they go to the Embassy, they lose that and ultimately end up over there at the Abbey Gate of the airport. The fact that they let him out is a testament to the carelessness of this administration and to top everything off, our son wasn’t killed by a blast of the bomb, so this guy isn’t even the guy that killed him,” he continued.
The gold star father said the couple has yet to receive an autopsy report from the government and suspect that he was killed by a gunshot rather than a bombing.
At the Sept. 28 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley told Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to resign over their handling of the “rapidly deteriorating, frankly disastrous” Afghanistan withdrawal in order to be held accountable.
In late August, the House Freedom Caucus introduced resolutions calling for the resignations of Biden, Milley and Austin saying they were completely responsible for the “ongoing bloodshed” in Afghanistan.