Pen Farthing and his animals WILL be evacuated from Kabul after army helps them through airport and government finally gives charter flight clearance – but MoD makes no mention of his 24 Afghan staff
Pen Farthing and his rescue dogs have been allowed through at Kabul airport and will be evacuated from Afghanistan after the government finally gave his charter flight clearance to take off.
Defence bosses confirmed on Twitter that the former Royal Marine and his animals are awaiting transportation and are being supported by the UK Armed Forces after he was helped through the airport by the army.
When contacted by the MailOnline, the Ministry of Defence declined to clarify whether the charter flight would also be transporting Mr Farthing’s 25 Afghan staff.
‘Pen Farthing and his pets were assisted through the system at Kabul airport by the UK Armed Forces. They are currently being supported while he awaits transportation,’ the Ministry of Defence said in a tweet on Friday night.
Paul 'Pen’ Farthing’s campaign to get his staff and animals from the Nowzad shelter out of Afghanistan has caused controversy in recent days, after receiving a huge amount of public support.
The animal charity boss had earlier hired a private plane which was due to take off from Luton, but it was prevented from doing so so due to security concerns in the wake of an ISIS attack that killed 103 mense.
Mr Farthing and his team got 300m inside Kabul Airport yesterday but were turned away by Taliban fighters due to President Biden deciding to change visa requirements.
The campaigner tweeted: ‘The whole team & dogs/cats were safely 300m inside the airport perimeter. We were turned away as @JoeBiden had changed paperwork rules just 2 hours earlier.
‘Went through hell to get there & we were turned away into the chaos of those devastating explosions. #OperationArk’
His friend, fellow activist Dominic Dyer – who had been hoping to board the flight from the UK – said the ‘security situation’ had prevented it from going ahead.
‘There is a plan that we could operate but I just don’t know if that could be possible,’ hy het vertel Goeie more Brittanje. ‘We hope and pray we can get him, his staff and animals home.’
After criticising Britain’s evacuation mission as ‘badly run’ he was branded an ‘armchair amateur’ by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who accused him of not understanding how an operation of that scaled worked.
The Tory politician also said Mr Farthing and his allies had ‘taken up too much time’ of senior commanders during the crisis.
Animal charity boss Pen Farthing and his rescue dogs have been allowed through at Kabul airport and will be evacuated from Afghanistan after the government finally gave his charter flight clearance to take off. Mr Farthing, who is stuck in Afghanistan with 200 dogs and cats, said earlier his ‘mission’ to get them and his staff out of the country has been unsuccessful and he is now likely to have to leave the country on his own
Defence bossed confirmed on Twitter that the former Royal Marine and his pets are awaiting transportation and are being supported by the UK Armed Forces after he was helped through the airport by the army
The former Royal Marine, who founded the Nowzad animal shelter in Kabul, has been engaged in a desperate attempt to board an RAF evacuation flight in recent days
Mr Farthing suffered another crippling setback yesterday when the Taliban blocked him from entering the airport so he could board a British military jet
Gister, Mr Farthing narrowly avoided the airport suicide bomb blasts which rocked the area, doodmaak 12 US serviceman and up to 90 Afghans.
He revealed in an interview with the BBC that he has been forced to give up on his attempt to get his animals and staff out of the country due to a decision by US President Joe Biden to change the rules on who is allowed into the airfield.
Mr Farthing said that even though his staff had been ‘given approval’ by the British Government to board a flight, ‘the Taliban would not accept their paperwork’ because they had been told to only allow people through who had a ‘physical passport with a visa in it’.
He said his staff have now told him it is ‘time to go’ over fears for his safety, but added that he will be unable to take any of his animals due to the new rules.
Gister, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace hit out at criticism from supporters Mr Farthing after they claimed the minister had blocked a flight which would have taken the animals.
Mr Farthing’s group also narrowly avoided the airport suicide bomb blasts which rocked the area yesterday, doodmaak 12 US serviceman and up to 90 Afghans. Bo: Wounded Afghans in hospital after the blasts
US officials announced that 12 American troops were killed in the suicide blast. Bo: British soldiers in Kabul
Two boys embrace each other as they weep in the parking lot at Wazir Akbar Khan hospital, in Kaboel, after the blast
In 'n reeks twiets, Mr Wallace lashed out at ‘bullying, falsehoods and threatening behaviour’ towards Ministry of Defence staff.
Speaking on Thursday evening, Mr Farthing said: ‘We got inside that airfield and just before that horrendous attack… we were told that Joe Biden had changed the policy on who is allowed into the airfield.
‘And so my staff, even though they had been given approval by the British Government, the Taliban would not accept their paperwork because they had been told they could only allow people in with a physical passport with a visa in it.
‘The Taliban obviously control the outer part of the airfield, so there is nothing I can do.’
Hy het bygevoeg: ‘My mission to get them out of Afghanistan has just ended because Joe Biden stopped it.
Before news of the attack emerged, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace blasted Mr Farthing’s supporters for claiming he had blocked a flight to rescue the animals, saying it was a ‘total myth’
‘I can’t overrule the President of the United States, he has said what paperwork that they need to obviously be able to get into the airfield.’
He said his staff have told him to leave because they do not think he will be ‘welcome’ under Taliban rule once Western forces have left.
‘They asked me if I can get as many of the dogs and cats out with me so yeah,’ hy het gesê.
‘I can’t take them with me because I can’t get them now past those Taliban checkpoints because of the regulation that has come down.’
Describing his group’s route to the airport, hy het gesê: ‘We had gone through hell to get there, we have had Taliban cock their weapons and point them at our faces, one of them had what we used to call in the marines an ND – a negligent discharge where they basically accidentally pull the trigger.
‘It was a miracle that he was an absolutely rubbish aim, otherwise one of us wouldn’t be here now.’
Yesterday’s bomb blasts occurred after Mr Farthing’s staff were refused passage through the Taliban checkpoint.
After the group had begun their journey with the animals back to their shelter, Mr Farthing said ‘all hell broke loose’ when the explosions went off’.
Yesterday shocking footage emerged of the animals gasping for breath inside the packed container
‘We had Taliban there firing into the air, one let off a full magazine on automatic from his AK-47 right next to the window of our bus where we had women and children in,’ hy het gesê.
‘As we were trying to then flee from the airport we were getting teargassed, so we were trying to drive the vehicle while we obviously can’t see anything.
It was just the most horrific thing, we have all managed to make it back to our animal shelter here…’
He also told how he met a British bus driver who is trapped with his children in Kabul after coming to Afghanistan to visit family.
The veteran said the man told him he was with a group of around 40 mense, all of whom had British passports.
‘There is no way they are going to be able to get home. There are thousands and thousands of people who are going to be left here who have every right in the world to get on a flight and come home,’ hy het gesê.
‘At certain checkpoints the Taliban won’t let you through if you are of Afghan heritage but you’ve now got a foreign passport.’
Jihadist splinter group ISIS-K are believed to be behind yesterday’s attacks.
Besides the deaths of 12 Amerikaanse troepe, senior health officials in Kabul say the death toll could be as high as 90 Afghans, met 143 more people believed to be injured.
Speaking earlier yesterday, Mr Farthing also told how his group’s driver narrowly avoided being ‘shot in the head’ by a gunman with an AK-47.
Intussen, Boris Johnson denied he had had any influence on Mr Farthing’s rescue attempt after being asked to intervene by his wife, Carrie, who is a vocal animal rights activist.
A suicide bomb has caused a huge explosion outside Kabul airport with ‘unknown casualties’ just hours after warnings of an ‘imminent’ and ‘lethal’ ISIS terrorist attack
Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said: ‘We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can’
En, in a series of tweets, Mr Wallace rejected claims his staff had blocked a flight for Mr Farthing.
Hy het gesê: ‘Let’s get some facts out there: Een. Niemand, at any stage has blocked a flight.
‘This is a total myth and is being peddled around as if that is why the pet evacuation hasn’t taken place. Twee. I never said I would not facilitate. I said no one would get to queue jump.
‘Three. The issue, as those desperate people waiting outside the gates know too well, has always been getting processed through the entrances. It can take over 24 ure. There is no point turning up with a plane until the passengers / pets are airside.
‘Four. As people were processed ARAP (Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy), LOTR (Leave outside the Immigration Rules) etc they were called forward. Once processed and on the airfield they are marshalled on to a plane. As I have said we will facilitate at all stages but the priority will be people not pets.’
Mr Wallace went on to say there had been no ‘U-turn’ over the issue, calling for critics to allow civil servants and the military to deal ‘with one of the most dangerous and challenging evacuations for a generation’.
Hy het bygevoeg: ‘The bullying, falsehoods and threatening behaviour by some towards our MOD personnel and advisors is unacceptable and a shameful way to treat people trying to help the evacuation. They do their cause no good.’
Since the collapse of the Afghan government, Mr Farthing and his supporters have campaigned to have his staff and their families as well as 140 honde en 60 cats evacuated from the country in a plan he has dubbed Operation Ark.
Reports have suggested the Prime Minister’s wife Carrie stepped in to push for his rescue.
Asked about the reports yesterday, Mnr Johnson het gesê: ‘I’ve had absolutely no influence on any particular case, nor would that be right.
‘That’s not, that’s not how we do things in this country.’
This morning, Mr Farthing issued a plea on Twitter to ensure his ‘safe passage’ into Kabul airport.
Addressing the Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen, Mr Farthing said: ‘Dear Sir; my span & my animals are stuck at airport circle. We have a flight waiting. Can you please facilitate safe passage into the airport for our convoy?
‘We are an NGO who will come back to Afghanistan but right now I want to get everyone out safely.’
Hy het bygevoeg: ‘We have been here for 10 hours after being assured that we would have safe passage. Truly would like to go home now. Let’s prove the IEA are taking a different path.’
His friend and supporter Dominic Dyer, van Milton Keynes, said a privately funded plane had been due to land on Friday from Luton airport, but plans had to be scrapped due to security fears.
The blast took place near the Baron Hotel at the Abbey Gate of the airport where huge crowds had gathered in an attempt to enter the airport
Mr Dyer said another plane is now waiting in a ‘neighbouring country’ but cannot land in Kabul until Mr Farthing is granted entry into the airport.
Hy het gesê: ‘We have a plan in place and we can act swiftly, but not until he’s granted entry into the airport.
‘It’s a complicated situation and the door is closing, the next 24 aan 48 hours are crucial – we need it to happen before then to avoid him, his staff and the animals becoming stuck in the country.
‘There are options for him to go back to his centre and hunker down or he could try and leave the country on the road – but there are fears over the Taliban closing the borders, so it’s unclear what’s going to happen.’
Vroeër Donderdag, Armed Forces minister James Heappey said British forces could not move ‘desperate Afghans’ to make way for Mr Farthing’s pet rescue mission – as harrowing footage emerged of dogs suffering from the heat while stuck in a container outside Kabul airport.
Mr Heappey said that while the former Royal Marine deserved praise for staying behind with his staff and animals until they are evacuated, giving them priority over other desperate people waiting to leave ‘doesn’t feel like the right thing to do’.
Taliban militants have blocked Mr Farthing’s convoy carrying 173 cats and dogs from entering Kabul airport to flee Afghanistan – as he warned the animals could soon die from heat exhaustion after being left for more than ten hours in a sweltering travel crate.
Yesterday shocking footage emerged of the animals gasping for breath inside the packed container.
Summing up the situation this morning, Armed Forces minister James Heappey suggested it would be wrong to prioritise Mr Farthing and his animals for processing over other applicants.
Hy het vertel Sky News: ‘For him, it is a grim reality of these situations that as a British national we would seek to expedite his passage into the airport but he, commendably, has said that is not what he wants to do.
‘He is asking us, the Americans and the Taliban for safe passage but I am afraid safe passage is also other words for being brought to the front of the queue.
‘And I just wonder how you feel about having to make a decision whereby we move lots of desperate Afghans out of the way to bring him through because of the profile and the support he has. That doesn’t feel like the right thing to do. It gives me no pleasure to say that though.’
Mr Farthing appealed directly to the Taliban on Twitter in a desperate bid to secure the release of the animals
On Thursday Mr Farthing appealed directly to the Taliban on Twitter in a desperate bid to secure the release of the animals.
Addressing Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen, Mr Farthing wrote: ‘Dear Sir; my team and my animals are stuck at airport circle. We have a flight waiting. Can you please facilitate safe passage into the airport for our convoy?
‘We are an NGO who will come back to Afghanistan but right now I want to get everyone out safely.
‘We have been here for 10 hours after being assured that we would have safe passage. Truly would like to go home now. Let’s prove the IEA are taking a different path.’
The Government is still scrambling to evacuate thousands of British nationals trapped at Hamid Karzai International Airport
Mr Johnson is said to have personally intervened in the row at the urging of his wife, Carrie (they are seen in Cornwall during the G7 meeting)
The toxic battle of Noah’s ark: It’s a bizarre sideshow to the Afghan horror – an ex-marine fighting to evacuate pets in a rescue linked to PM’s wife Carrie… versus the Defence Secretary who has savaged the operation. So whose side are you on?
By Guy Adams for the Daily Mail
Last night Pen Farthing said his convoy of 200 shelter animals and 68 staff was targeted with gunfire after getting access to the airport.
On their way to board a chartered plane, a gunman opened fire in an incident which saw the group’s driver narrowly avoid being shot in the head and the convoy forced to turn back.
Plans to board a privately-funded plane had been derailed due to security fears.
Mr Farthing’s supporter Dominic Dyer, an animal welfare activist, said a plane is waiting in a ‘neighbouring country’ but cannot land in Kabul until Mr Farthing is in the airport. Here Guy Adams looks at how the saga unfolded.
The Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, is a former Captain in the Scots Guards who now finds himself overseeing one of the most dangerous and challenging military evacuations since Vietnam.
Yet at lunchtime yesterday, the 51-year-old minister found the time to break off from directing proceedings in Kabul to put out seven spectacularly angry tweets.
They were designed to ‘get some facts out there’, as he put it, about his attitude towards Operation Ark, an attempt to evacuate roughly 200 cats and dogs from Afghanistan in the hold of a charter jet that will also carry the staff of a UK-run charity named Nowzad.
In recent days Mr Wallace and his team have been accused of seeking to obstruct the daring animal rescue mission, firstly by failing to help secure permission for the plane to land and secondly by refusing to assist the evacuees (mens, canine and feline) in their endeavours to reach the airport.
Supporters of the charity, which is run by a former Royal Marine named Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing, have mounted a highly personal lobbying campaign via social media. This appears to have got under the Defence Secretary’s skin.
Supporters of the charity, which is run by a former Royal Marine named Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing, have mounted a highly personal lobbying campaign via social media
‘The bullying, valshede en dreigende gedrag deur sommige teenoor ons MoD personeel en adviseurs is onaanvaarbaar en 'n skande manier om mense te behandel wat probeer om die ontruiming te help,’ hy het geskryf.
Elders, Mr Wallace denied reports that he’d ever sought to ‘block’ a flight, eis: ‘This is a total myth and is being peddled around as if that is why the pet evacuation hasn’t taken place.’
Hy het ook gesê, ietwat uitlokkend, dat in die komende dae sy 'prioriteit sal wees mense nie troeteldiere'. Soos die vyandige toon van hierdie opmerkings suggereer, Operasie Ark is nou in die middel van 'n lelike en by tye heeltemal surrealistiese politieke geskil.
Terwyl aspekte daarvan heeltemal ligsinnig kan lyk - die lot van 200 katte en honde verbleek natuurlik in vergelyking met dié van duisende Afghane wat probeer om uit Kaboel te vlug - die stryery kan ook ernstige vrae laat ontstaan oor die manier waarop Boris Johnson se regering sy sake doen.
Vir die veldtog teen mnr. Wallace is gelei deur Dominic Dyer, ’n diereregte-aktivis met noue bande met die premier se eggenoot Carrie. Sy het selfs 'n foto van hom op haar Twitter-profiel.
Dyer het die afgelope drie dae die minister van verdediging gebombardeer met nie minder nie 53 vyandige twiets, insluitend een wat gelees het: 'F*** hierdie hele skitterende regering en hul onverkiesde Spads en makkers,’ and others which dubbed Wallace ‘an arrogant, dom dwaas van 'n man', en 'n 'totale skande'.
Hy het ook mnr. Wallace se spesiale adviseur aangeval, Peter Quentin, beskuldig hom van 'vuil truuks'. Tog terwyl hy hierdie aanval op 'n regeringsminister loods, Mnr Dyer beweer ook dat hy sy vriendin, mev. Johnson, by Operasie Ark se saak ingeskakel het.
Die veldtog teen mnr. Wallace is gelei deur Dominic Dyer, ’n diereregte-aktivis met noue bande met die premier se eggenoot Carrie, op die foto
In onderhoude, he has said that she ‘most certainly’ intervened to persuade the PM to order Mr Wallace to ‘seek a slot’ for the rescue flight.
Although the PM yesterday claimed he ‘had absolutely no influence’ over policy towards the evacuation, daar is berig dat Trudy Harrison, sy parlementêre privaatsekretaris wat as 'n noue bondgenoot van mev Johnson gesien word en haar groot belangstelling in diereregte deel, het wel namens Operasie Ark ingegryp om die kwessie met Defra-amptenare te opper.
dit is, alles vertel, 'n eienaardige affêre. En om dit alles werklik te verstaan, moet ons die horlosie terugdraai na die somer van 2006 toe die voorgenoemde Royal Marine Pen Farthing in die Helmand-provinsie aangekom het saam met die manne van 42 Kommando Royal Marines.
Tydens die vredesbewaringstoer, hy was bevriend met 'n gruwelik verminkte hond wat deur Afghane in hondegevegte gebruik is. Beweeg deur sy 'groot, sad eyes’ he took the animal back to the UK.
Dit het die eerste van rond geword 1,700 honde wat mnr Farthing gered het, Nowzad – vernoem na die dorp waarin hy gestasioneer was – op die been gebring om hulle nuwe lewens te gee, dikwels in die Weste waar baie metgeselle geword het van afgetrede soldate wat in Afghanistan diens gedoen het, help om posttraumatiese stres aan te spreek.
Die deeglik inspirerende liefdadigheidsorganisasie het 'n reeks humanitêre toekennings gewen en groot vordering gemaak met die opvoeding van Afghanen oor dierewelsyn en die uitskakeling van hondsdolheid uit Kaboel, waar die siekte 'n groot openbare gesondheidsrisiko is. Personeel by sy reddingsentrum in die hoofstad het van die land se eerste vroulike veeartse ingesluit.
Toe kom die Taliban se oorname, wat nie net mnr Farthing se personeel bedreig het nie (geag word om die risiko van vergelding te loop omdat hy vir 'n Westerse agentskap gewerk het) maar ook sy diere: in die 1990's het die Taliban die aanhou van troeteldiere verbied op grond daarvan dat hulle as onrein beskou word onder die organisasie se ekstremistiese interpretasie van Islam.
Mnr Farthing het daarin geslaag om sy Noorse vrou te ontruim, Kaisa Markhus, en 'n swanger Amerikaanse vriendin. Hy het toe belowe om in Kaboel te bly om die veilige ontruiming van sy personeellede met hul onmiddellike families te verseker (wat visums gekry het om na die VK te reis), plus die diere in Nowzad se sorg.
In 'n paar dae, Ondersteuners het ongeveer £200 000 ingesamel vir huurvliegtuie om hulle eerste na Tasjkent in Oesbekistan te neem, rofweg 45 minute van Kaboel af, en toe na Brittanje.
Op hierdie stadium, egter, probleme na vore gekom het: te midde van die chaos van die ontruiming, Mnr Farthing het gevind dat hy nie toestemming kon kry vir die vliegtuig om by Kaboel te land nie.
Teen die begin van hierdie week, hy en sy personeel was ook nog in hul hoofkwartier, etlike kilometers van die lughawe af, wat toe moeilik toeganklik was.
Daar het 'n dispuut met Britse owerhede gevolg wat deur onderhoude en Twitter-plasings uitgespeel het.
Dit het Dinsdag begin, toe mnr Farthing getwiet het: 'Is aan myself oorgelaat in Kaboel.
Afgesny van my MoD [Ministerie van Verdediging] ondersteuningslyn deur die spesiale adviseur van Ben Wallace. 22-jaar mariene agter lyne gelaat. Nie my personeel of diere sal nou uitkom nie. Cheers.’
In a TV interview he added: 'Ons het 'n privaat-befondsde vliegtuig wat kan vlieg 250 passasiers uit, 69 van hulle sou ek en die personeel wees, maar ons het 'n leë vragruim. Ek verstaan nie die probleme hier nie, I’m not asking the MoD to give me a plane I just need to have a call sign.’
Ure later, Wallace het op LBC Radio gereageer: 'Ek het 'n paar baie desperate mense in daardie tou wat werklik bedreig word deur lewe en dood, en as ons hulle nie uitkry nie, is hul toekoms baie, baie somber. I simply have to prioritise those people over pets.’
In 'n tweede onderhoud, Wallace het mnr Farthing se ondersteuners gekritiseer, sê: 'Sommige van die kampvegters het vasgebyt aan die feit dat hulle 'n vliegtuig gehuur het asof dit op een of ander manier die towerstaf is. Die towerstaf is of mense deur Kaboel kan kom, deur die kontrolepunt, and then through the 3,000-plus people waiting.’
Herhaal sy uitdagende klankgreep, hy het bygevoeg: ‘I am not prepared to prioritise pets over people.’
Die opmerkings het groot woede van mnr Dyer en sy bondgenote ontmoet, wat 'n TV-veearts genaamd Mark Abraham insluit, wat mev. Johnson gehelp het om haar troeteldierhond Dilyn te kry. Meneer Dyer, 'n voormalige kampvegter teen dasuitskot ('n kwessie waaroor hy mev Johnson oorreed het om die PM te beywer) woedende boodskappe op Twitter opgelaai, moedig ondersteuners aan om 'op Ben Wallace se Twitter-toevoer te gaan ... weerspieël jou sienings'.
Mnr Dyer het die minister van verdediging ook 'n 'boelie-seun-onbevoegdheid' genoem [sic] dwaas wat politiek speel met die lewens van Pen Farthing, sy span en diere in Kaboel. This man is a total disgrace.’
Antwoorde deur sy ondersteuners bevat mnr. Wallace se kantoortelefoonnommer, wat met kwaai oproepe gebombardeer is. Vinnig 'n paar uur vorentoe, en mnr. Wallace het 'n effektiewe U-draai aangekondig.
Hy het Woensdag om 01:33 'n verklaring op Twitter gelaai waarin hy gesê het: 'Pen Farthing se personeel is vrygelaat om na vore te kom ... Ek het MoD gemagtig om hul verwerking saam met alle ander kwalifiserende personeel by te fasiliteer (Kaboel lughawe).
In recent days Mr Wallace and his team have been accused of seeking to obstruct the daring animal rescue mission, firstly by failing to help secure permission for the plane to land and secondly by refusing to assist the evacuees (mens, canine and feline) in their endeavours to reach the airport
'Op daardie stadium, as hy met sy diere opdaag sal ons 'n gleuf vir sy vliegtuig soek. If he does not have his animals with him he and his staff can board an RAF flight.’
Mr Dyer responded by posting gleeful videos to Twitter saying that Wallace had ‘had his hands slapped’ and ‘his legs pulled from under him’. Hy het toe beweer die verandering van beleid is deur mnr Johnson beveel, moontlik in opdrag van sy vrou.
Dit het op sy beurt weer daartoe gelei dat die sekretaris van verdediging nou ietwat verswak het om aan Tory-LP's te sê dat sy betrokkenheid by die voortdurende stryd oor Operasie Ark sy vermoë om toesig te hou oor die res van die ontruiming beïnvloed..
What I can tell you, en dit is 'n bietjie ontstellend, is dat ek soldate op die grond het wat afgelei is om daardie mense te red as gevolg van onakkurate stories, onakkurate steunwerwing wat daardie hulpbron herlei het,’ he wrote to them at 4.30pm on Wednesday. ‘And that is not something I would be proud of.’
Whitehall-insiders blyk saam te stem. 'Wallace moes nie regtig betrokke geraak het nie, maar almal raak swak en moet met baie min slaap klaarkom, en dit beïnvloed hul oordeel,’ one says.
‘He’s also been anxious, tereg, to protect his Spad Peter Quentin from abuse. But the way he’s chosen to do it has at times been clumsy and tweeting in the middle of the night and whatnot is never going to be a good look.’
As for Mr Farthing, his employees and their cats and dogs, yesterday morning they were in vehicles baking in the hot sun at Kabul airport.
With the animals starting to struggle with thirst, he used Twitter to lobby another influential figure for help: Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban spokesman.
‘Dear Sir, my team and my animals are stuck at airport circle. We have a flight waiting. Can you please facilitate safe passage into the airport for our convoy? We are an NGO who will come back to Afghanistan but right now I want to get everyone out safely,’ hy het geskryf.
‘We have been here for 10 hours after being assured that we would have safe passage.’
Around tea time, news came that they had secured access to the airport. However it was later reported that Mr Farthing had been forced to leave after their vehicle was targeted by a gunman.
They intend to return today, so with a following wind, the Operation Ark evacuees get a happy ending. But however this plays out, the political fallout may take far longer to resolve.