Vandals Rip U.S. Flags Honoring 13 Service Members Killed in Kabul

California police officers are searching for a vandal after 13 U.S. flags honoring the 13 service members killed in Afghanistan were deliberately torn.

The Riverside Police Department said the force were searching for a suspect after the flags, hanging from a freeway in the city, were vandalized.

Photos shared on Facebook showed the flags hanging over the freeway had been deliberately cut or torn, leaving huge holes in the fabric.

Further images showed police removing the damaged flags from the fence, leaving them empty of any display.

In a post shared on Tuesday, the police department said: "Recently after the deaths of our 13 United States service members killed in Afghanistan, 13 American flags and one Marine Corp flag were placed on the fence to the Ivy Street overpass to the 91 Freeway in Riverside as a memorial.

"Sometime yesterday, an observant citizen noticed the flags appeared to be damaged and it was reported to the police."

Police said they had little information about a suspect and were relying on members of the public to contact them with any information.

The Facebook post continued: "At this point, we don't have any suspect description but it's obvious the flags were intentionally damaged. If you have any information about who vandalized the flags placed on this freeway overpass to honor the 13 fallen service members, please contact our property crimes unit at (951) 353-7955.

"We want to thank the group 'what is going on in riverside country' for bringing this crime to our attention. With help from two citizens, the flags were carefully removed and will be turned over later today to local Boy Scout Troop 703 for proper retirement."

No arrests have been made as of Wednesday morning.

Newsweek has contacted the Riverside Police Department for comment.

The flags were placed on the fence after the 13 service members were killed in an explosion at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport in August.

ISIS-K, an affiliate of the Islamic State group, had claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, which also killed some 170 Afghans.

The killings were seen as being part of a failure of President Joe Biden's administration to secure a safe exit plan for American troops ahead of the August 31 deadline to withdraw from the country.

Biden's handling of the situation was criticized by figures in the U.S. and beyond.

Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) joined fellow Republicans calling for Biden to resign over the handling of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

The flags were deliberately ripped and torn
The flags were deliberately ripped and torn. In these photos, the damaged flags can be seen on the freeway fence. Riverside Police Department/ What Is Going On In Riverside Country