Pen Farthing latest news: Celebrities slam 'leaked audio' as attempt to discredit Afghanistan hero as he lands in UK

Pen Farthing latest news: Celebrities slam 'leaked audio' as attempt to discredit Afghanistan hero as he lands in UK

08/29/2021

FORMER commando turned animal rescuer Pen Farthing & his animals have been rescued from Kabul and have landed home "safe" in the UK.

The ex Commando, who has been battling to evacuate his staff and almost 200 rescue animals, was forced to turn away from an evacuation flight yesterday.

It happened as a suicide bomber detonated his device at Kabul airport on Thursday – killing at least 170 and leaving scores injured.

But now the 57-year-old is due to fly to Tashkent in Uzbekistan before returning to the UK .

He spoke to the Sun of his sadness at not being able to fulfill his promise to get his predominantly Afghan staff to safety as well.

He said: “It is just so depressing I had to leave them behind.

“Some of them came with me to the airport but they weren’t allowed to cross the line from Taliban to British control."

Read our Kabul explosion live blog for the latest updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    AIRLIFT OF BRITONS AND REFUGEES FROM AFGHANISTAN WAS UNPRECEDENTED MISSION – PM

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK departure from Afghanistan was "the culmination of a mission unlike anything we've seen in our lifetimes".

    The final UK troops and diplomatic staff were airlifted from Kabul on Saturday, drawing to a close Britain's 20-year engagement in Afghanistan and a two-week operation to rescue UK nationals and Afghan allies.

    Ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Laurie Bristow, who had been processing those fleeing the country at the airport until the last moment, was among those who landed at RAF Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire on Sunday morning.

    And it brought to a close Operation Pitting, believed to be the largest evacuation mission since the Second World War.

    In a video uploaded to Twitter on Sunday morning, Mr Johnson praised the more than 1,000 military personnel, diplomats and officials who took part in the operation in Afghanistan.

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN ARRIVES IN UK ONE ON OF LAST EVACUATION FLIGHTS

    Ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Laurie Bristow arrived on one of the last flights carrying UK military and civilian personnel on their final homeward leg back from Afghanistan.

    A Voyager aircraft touched down at RAF Brize Norton airfield in Oxfordshire on Sunday morning.

    Roughly 250 personnel were on board, including members of 16 Air Assault Brigade who were stationed at Kabul airport.

    The plane flew in from Al Minhad airfield in the United Arab Emirates near Dubai where the UK's evacuation flights from Afghanistan first landed.

    Further flights carrying personnel are expected later on Sunday.

  • Joseph Gamp

    SENIOR FIGURES REJECT SUGGESTIONS TALIBAN MIGHT HAVE CHANGED

    The Taliban is unlikely to have changed since it was last in power in Afghanistan 20 years ago, retired senior military and diplomatic figures have said.

    The group, which seized Kabul a fortnight ago, has been at pains to stress that its attitudes towards issues such as women being allowed to go to work and violence had shifted. But the UK's former ambassador to Afghanistan and a former head of the British Army both said they did not believe this was the case.

    Speaking to Times Radio, Sir Nicholas Kay, who was the ambassador to Afghanistan from 2017 to 2019, said the UK does not need to trust the Taliban.

    He said: "I first met the Taliban back in early '95, just after they captured Kandahar when they first appeared on the scene. And I met them in '96 in Kabul about three days after they've captured Kabul, and I've been sort of tracking their progress one way or another over the last 20 years.

    "I don't think they've changed. You know, I think you know, one of their strengths, if you like, is their single-mindedness and their strength of conviction and their faith in what they are doing and their cause.

    "What we have seen is that they are more aware of what they should be saying, and maybe that will translate into being able to actually do some of the things that they're saying."

  • Joseph Gamp

    CONTINUED…

    Home Office statistics released this week show a total of 6,033 Afghan nationals had enforced returns from the UK since 2010 – but only 10 have happened in the most recent 12 months.

    The highest number in any 12-month period was 1,392 in year to June 2011, while the lowest was the 10 returns in year to March 2021.

    "The UK has been very tough towards refugees, especially Afghan refugees," Mr Ghafoor said.

    "Those who were deported and those I had a chance to meet… among them were people who actually had been granted asylum until they were 18.

    "As soon as they were 18, everything was ripped again from them – everything was taken and they were in limbo."

  • Joseph Gamp

    WESTERN DEPORTATION TO AFGHANISTAN BEFORE TALIBAN TAKEOVER 'SHAMEFUL'

    Western nations behaved "shamefully" by deporting people to Afghanistan before leaving the nation to the Taliban, an advocate for Afghan refugees has said.

    Abdul Ghafoor, the director of the Afghanistan Migrants Advice and Support Organisation (Amaso), said some nations were trying to deport Afghans back to the nation even until the day Kabul fell.

    "I have been advocating against the deportation to Afghanistan for the past six years… my fear was what we are witnessing today," the 35-year-old told the PA news agency.

    "It's shameful to see that some of the countries were insisting (on deportations) until the last day – until Kabul had collapsed."

    Mr Ghafoor only named Belgium and Austria among countries that were insisting on deportations until the Taliban had taken Kabul, but added the UK has been "very tough" on Afghan refugees.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON TELLS SOLDIERS FAMILIES: ‘YOUR SUFFERING WAS NOT IN VAIN’

    Addressing the families and loved ones of the British troops who “gave their all”, Mr Johnson said: “Your suffering and your hardship were not in vain.”

    He added: “It was no accident that there’s been no terrorist attack launched against Britain or any other western country from Afghanistan in the last 20 years.

    “It was thanks to the bravery of our Armed Forces who fought to knock out (Osama) Bin Laden’s networks.

    “And, thanks to the devotion of British troops and aid workers and diplomats and others, we’ve helped educate 3.6 million girls.

    “Whatever the future may hold for Afghanistan, they will have that gift for the rest of their lives, a gift they will pass on to their daughters as well as their sons.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    AIRLIFT OF BRITONS AND REFUGEES FROM AFGHANISTAN WAS UNPRECEDENTED MISSION, SAYS BORIS JOHNSON

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK departure from Afghanistan was “the culmination of a mission unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes”.

    The final UK troops and diplomatic staff were airlifted from Kabul on Saturday, drawing to a close Britain’s 20-year engagement in Afghanistan and a two-week operation to rescue UK nationals and Afghan allies. Named Operation Pitting, it was believed to be the largest evacuation mission since the Second World War.

    In a video uploaded to Twitter on Sunday morning, Mr Johnson praised the more than 1,000 military personnel, diplomats and officials who took part in the operation in Afghanistan.

    He said: “UK troops and officials have worked around the clock to a remorseless deadline in harrowing conditions. They have expended all the patience and care and thought they possess to help people in fear for their lives.

    “They’ve seen at first-hand barbaric terrorist attacks on the queues of people they were trying to comfort, as well as on our American friends. They didn’t flinch. They kept calm. They got on with the job.

    “It’s thanks to their colossal exertions that this country has now processed, checked, vetted and airlifted more than 15,000 people to safety in less than two weeks.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    VETERAN TORY MP SAYS UK 'HAS LITTLE TO SHOW FOR 20 YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN

    Conservative MP and veteran Tobias Ellwood said the UK had "very little to show" for 20 years in Afghanistan.

    The chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee told LBC: "Our armed forces performed so valiantly but they were let down by their political masters.

    "We lacked the strategy, the statecraft, the patience to see through, and the manner of our departure is a humiliation, a confirmation of our diminished resolve, and our adversaries will not be slow to exploit it."

    He warned that "terrorism will raise its ugly face again" and "until we defeat this ideology, we can have as many drone strikes as we like, we can invade as many countries as we like, we will never win".

    Mr Ellwood added: "Unfortunately, we've made the situation worse, by absenting ourselves from the very place where it's now very easy for terrorist groups to do their work."

  • Joseph Gamp

    MARINE STUART SCHELLER IS RELIEVED OF DUTY AFTER DEMANDING MILITARY LEADERS ADMIT ‘WE MESSED UP’ AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL

    A US Marine was relieved of his command for publicly demanding senior US military brass take “accountability” for overseeing the execution of the pullout from Afghanistan after 13 troops died in Thursday’s suicide bombing. 

    “I have been relieved for cause based on a lack of trust and confidence…”  Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller posted on his social media page. 

    The father of three who has served the US Marine Corps Infantry for 17 years first openly admitted that part of what compelled him to come forward to speak out was losing his comrades to the “mess going on [in Afghanistan].”

    “I know through an inside channel that one of the people that was killed was someone I have a personal relationship with,” he said.

    Read the article in full here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BREAKING: PEN FARTHING ARRIVES SAFELY AT LONDON HEATHROW AFTER KABUL EVACUATION

    PEN Farthing has landed safely in London Heathrow with his 173 dogs and cats after his heartbreak at leaving devoted staff behind.

    The ex-Royal Marine is understood to be immediately boarding a connecting flight to Norway to visit his wife Kaisa Markhus.

    Nearly 200 animals he was travelling with from Kabul will reportedly now have to quarantine under UK law.

    His charted jet stopped at Muscat after leaving war-torn Afghanistan before arriving in London today.

    Pen's pet charity Nowzad confirmed last night that the former Royal Marine was "safely" out of Kabul, along with the rescued animals.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    FORMER BRITISH ARMY HEAD SAYS 'WE SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER'

    A former head of the British Army has said it was "unfathomable why it would appear that the Government was asleep on watch" in relation to the protection of Afghans who helped soldiers and officials.

    Speaking on Times Radio, General Lord Richard Dannatt said: "On the particular issue of those who we knew were in danger, people who had worked for us, interpreters, former locally-engaged civilians, this issue has been in the media.

    "This issue has been on politicians' desks for two to three years and, certainly, it's been there during the course of this year.

    "I mean, you might remember, back in July, 45 senior officers wrote to the Government, an open letter to the Government, saying there are people we are concerned about and if we don't do the right thing, their blood will be on our hands. It is unfathomable why it would appear that the Government was asleep on watch.

    "I think the issue of Afghanistan sat on the backburner. Maybe it started to come forward. But then, suddenly, when the Taliban took over the country in the precipitate fashion in which they did, it fell off the cooker straight onto the kitchen floor and we've … had this chaotic extraction.

    "We should have done better, we could have done better. It absolutely behoves us to find out why the Government didn't spark up faster."

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOWNTON ABBEY'S PETER EGAN LEAPS TO DEFENCE OF PEN FARTHING

    Downton Abbey and Afterlife star Peter Egan tweeted: "I’m going to post further comment later but in the meantime here is the man who is being vilified this morning for being what he is a hero.

    "CNN Heroes Tribute: Pen Farthing."

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON HAILS ‘COLOSSAL’ UK TROOPS AS FINAL KABUL FLIGHT LANDS IN UK IN BIGGEST MILITARY EVACUATION IN 80 YEARS

    BORIS Johnson today hailed "colossal" British troops as the final flight from Kabul landed in the UK.

    The plane touching down at RAF Brize Norton this morning ended the biggest military evacuation in 80 years.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    FEARS FOR AFGHANS 'ABANDONED TO TALIBAN' AS FINAL UK TROOPS PULLED OUT OF KABUL

    The final UK troops and diplomatic staff have been airlifted from Kabul, drawing to a close Britain's 20-year engagement in Afghanistan.

    Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed the final RAF plane took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport at 9.25pm on Saturday, as the Prime Minister said he was "lost in admiration" for the troops.

    Operation Pitting – where more than 1,000 military personnel, diplomats, and officials were dispatched to Afghanistan to rescue UK nationals and Afghan allies after the seizure of the country's capital by the Taliban – airlifted more than 15,000 people to safety across just over a fortnight.

    It was understood to be the largest evacuation mission since the Second World War.

    In an open letter to members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and families, Boris Johnson said: "There has been nothing like it in speed and scale, certainly in my lifetime."

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON ON COMPLETED EVACUATION (CONTINUED…)

    The Prime Minister added: "And though we would not have wished to leave in this way, we have to recognise that we came in with the United States, in defence and support of the US and the US military did the overwhelming bulk of the fighting.

    "Though we now leave with the United States, we will remain represented in the region.

    "Together with our allies in America and Europe and around the world, we will engage with the Taliban not on the basis of what they say but what they do.

    "If the new regime in Kabul wants diplomatic recognition, or to unlock the billions that are currently frozen, they will have to ensure safe passage for those who wish to leave the country, to respect the rights of women and girls, to prevent Afghanistan from, again, becoming an incubator for global terror, because that would be disastrous for Afghanistan."

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON TELLS SOLDIERS FAMILIES: 'YOUR SUFFERING WAS NOT IN VAIN'

    Addressing the families and loved ones of the British troops who "gave their all", Mr Johnson said: "Your suffering and your hardship were not in vain."

    He added: "It was no accident that there's been no terrorist attack launched against Britain or any other western country from Afghanistan in the last 20 years.

    "It was thanks to the bravery of our Armed Forces who fought to knock out (Osama) Bin Laden's networks.

    "And, thanks to the devotion of British troops and aid workers and diplomats and others, we've helped educate 3.6 million girls.

    "Whatever the future may hold for Afghanistan, they will have that gift for the rest of their lives, a gift they will pass on to their daughters as well as their sons."

  • Joseph Gamp

    AIRLIFT OF BRITONS AND REFUGEES FROM AFGHANISTAN WAS UNPRECEDENTED MISSION, SAYS BORIS JOHNSON

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK departure from Afghanistan was "the culmination of a mission unlike anything we've seen in our lifetimes".

    The final UK troops and diplomatic staff were airlifted from Kabul on Saturday, drawing to a close Britain's 20-year engagement in Afghanistan and a two-week operation to rescue UK nationals and Afghan allies. Named Operation Pitting, it was believed to be the largest evacuation mission since the Second World War.

    In a video uploaded to Twitter on Sunday morning, Mr Johnson praised the more than 1,000 military personnel, diplomats and officials who took part in the operation in Afghanistan.

    He said: "UK troops and officials have worked around the clock to a remorseless deadline in harrowing conditions. They have expended all the patience and care and thought they possess to help people in fear for their lives.

    "They've seen at first-hand barbaric terrorist attacks on the queues of people they were trying to comfort, as well as on our American friends. They didn't flinch. They kept calm. They got on with the job.

    "It's thanks to their colossal exertions that this country has now processed, checked, vetted and airlifted more than 15,000 people to safety in less than two weeks."

  • Joseph Gamp

    WE COMPLETELY MESSED UP’

    Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller called on the leaders in charge of the Afghanistan mission to explain why soldiers died as a result of the architecture of the evacuation.

    “I’m not saying we need to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am saying, did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, ‘Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone?’

    “Did anyone do that?

    “And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say, ‘We completely messed this up?'”

    He then questioned the heart and honesty of the leaders of the Afghanistan withdrawal for “not holding up their end of the bargain.”

    “Without that, we just keep repeating the same mistakes,” he said. “…I want to say this very strongly. I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: I demand accountability.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    MARINE STUART SCHELLER IS RELIEVED OF DUTY AFTER DEMANDING MILITARY LEADERS ADMIT ‘WE MESSED UP’ AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL

    A US Marine was relieved of his command for publicly demanding senior US military brass take “accountability” for overseeing the execution of the pullout from Afghanistan after 13 troops died in Thursday’s suicide bombing. 

    “I have been relieved for cause based on a lack of trust and confidence…”  Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller posted on his social media page. 

    The father of three who has served the US Marine Corps Infantry for 17 years first openly admitted that part of what compelled him to come forward to speak out was losing his comrades to the “mess going on [in Afghanistan].”

    “I know through an inside channel that one of the people that was killed was someone I have a personal relationship with,” he said.

    Read the article in full here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    HOW JOE BIDEN’S BUNGLED FACTS ABOUT AFGHANISTAN & 5-HR DELAY TO SPEAK ABOUT KABUL BOMB SHOWS PRESIDENCY IN TURMOIL

    His presidency has been left in turmoil as his approval ratings plunge thanks to controversial decisions and repeated mistakes during speeches, which have further fuelled criticism as he makes factual errors and inaccurate predictions.

    The President has now even been accused of having “blood on his hands” after at least 13 troops were among the 170-plus killed at the hands of ISIS-K in a suicde at Kabul airport.

    Speaking from the White House after the deadly blast, Biden appeared to crumble under the pressure as he snapped at a reporter and lost his breath.

    During Thursday’s press conference, Biden didn’t deny that names may have been handed over to the Taliban.

    Read more here.

  • Milica Cosic

    EXPLAINED: WHICH COUNTRIES BORDER AFGHANISTAN AND CAN REFUGEES GO THERE?

    The UN has urged Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries to keep their borders open to enable safe passage out.

    It said: “At this stage, our primary concern is that Afghans who are seeking safety can reach it, including borders and into neighbouring countries if needed.

    “The UNHCR is calling on all countries neighbouring Afghanistan to keep their borders open in light of the intensifying crisis in Afghanistan.”

    Pakistan – Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in June said that the border would be closed with Afghanistan if the Taliban seized control of the country.
    However, it appears that at least one route has remained open allowing refugees into the country.

    Iran – Emergency shelter and tents have been set up in the three Iranian provinces along the 560-mile border with Afghanistan.
    The country is preparing to provide the essentials for those in need.

    Uzbekistan – Uzbekistan’s foreign ministry has threatened that any attempt to cross the border “illegally” will be “suppressed harshly”.

    Read more here.

    Afghanistan is bordered by a number of countries but not every one is welcoming refugees
  • Milica Cosic

    TIMELINE OF JOE BIDEN’S RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS

    August 26, 2021: Biden to address the public following the Kabul airport attacks.

    August 23, 2021: Biden again ignored questions about the Middle East crisis after his aide says he “never shies away” from reporters.

    August 22, 2021: During a live address to the nation, Biden again insisted that pulling US troops out of Afghanistan was “the right decision” as he defended his handling of the crisis.

    August 21, 2021: Biden canceled his trip to his holiday home in Delaware as the crisis in Afghanistan rages on.

    August 20, 2021: President Biden addressed the nation about the US’ evacuation efforts in Afghanistan amid fierce criticism.

  • Milica Cosic

    HEARTBROKEN DAD OF MARINE KILLED IN KABUL TERROR ATTACK SAYS BIDEN ‘TURNED HIS BACK ON HIM’

    Californian carpenter Steve Nikoui was heartbroken when he learned his son Kareem, a young US Marine stationed at the Afghan capital airport, had died during yesterday's attack – and says he blames the President for his death.

    "I haven’t gone to bed all night," he told the Daily Beast.

    "I’m still in shock. I haven’t been able to grasp everything that’s going on.

    “They sent my son over there as a paper pusher and then had the Taliban outside providing security. I blame my own military leaders.

    "Biden turned his back on him. That’s it.”

  • Milica Cosic

    EXPLAINED: WHO ARE TERROR GROUP ISIS-K?

    ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the Kabul airport suicide attack which happened earlier this week.

    Isis-K is an offshoot of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) that has been operating in eastern Afghanistan since 2014.

    Read more here.

    ISIS-K are fighting to control parts of Afghanistan
  • Milica Cosic

    BRITISH RED CROSS OVERWHELMED BY KINDNESS OF PUBLIC

    The British Red Cross has said it is overwhelmed by the kidness shown by the public. Over £1 million has been raised for its Afghanistan Crisis appeal which is welcoming Afghan families arriving at UK airports.

    The appeal aims to provide emotional support and give out essential items like food, warm clothing and hygiene kits to the families arriving on UK soil.

    Mike Murphy, a British Red Cross emergency responder at Heathrow, said: "People have come from a chaotic area on very long-haul flights, often in cramped conditions with little opportunity to clean and be comfortable. It’s the little things like toothpaste and a toothbrush, a pair of slippers so they can change the shoes that they’ve been wearing for the last 56 hours.

    "They’re quite confused and very tired."

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