A near-empty mercy flight has taken off from Kabul carrying the wife of an ex-Royal Marine commando but almost nobody else  – despite western nations offering to take thousands of desperate Afghans out of the country after abandoning it to the Taliban

June 30, 2022|

A near-empty mercy flight has taken off from Kabul carrying the wife of an ex-Royal Marine commando but almost nobody else  – despite western nations offering to take thousands of desperate Afghans out of the country after abandoning it to the Taliban. 

Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing, a British expat who lives in Kabul, has been separated from his wife during the chaos engulfing Afghanistan. He said on Twitter that she is now on her way home, and shared an image of the inside of what is believed to be a Norwegian plane. 

‘Kaisa is on her way home!BUT this aircraft is empty… scandalous as thousands wait outside Kabul airport being crushed as they cannot get in. Sadly people will be left behind when this mission is over as we CANNOT get it right’, the ex-Marine wrote. 

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace insisted that Britain is using ‘every space possible’ on its rescue flights and stressed ‘every hour counts’ in the evacuation effort.He added that Western forces are working to ensure ‘not a single seat is wasted’. 

However, there have been reports this week of evacuation flights leaving Afghanistan with just a handful of people on board – despite thousands of trapped foreign nationals and locals all struggling to escape the threat of persecution under the new regime. 

In one shocking case, a German Airbus A-400M with space for 150 people took off with just seven on board.While UK planes have carried significantly more people, analysis of the figures shows there must have been empty seats on at least some of those flights – despite assurances to the contrary. 

Ministers have also been told that the last evacuation flight could leave Kabul in five days – before the planned US withdrawal from Afghanistan – and that the accelerated timetable could result in more British nationals and Afghans being left behind.

Government sources said ministers have ‘not agreed any date for either the end of the evacuation or the departure of the military’, and would prefer an orderly evacuation over a longer period than a hasty 24-hour scuttle.  

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in Washington that 6,000 people were cleared for evacuation Thursday and were expected to board military flights in coming hours. 

Westerners and visa holders trying to get to their flights say they are unable to get to the gates because of the crowd of up to 50,000 desperate locals who are gathering outside the airport and begging US and British troops to let them through. 

US troops have been firing warning shots to disperse thousands of desperate Afghans outside the airport, with footage taken on Wednesday night showing stun grenades flashing beside the perimeter.Expats who tried to get through the gate claimed the shots were fired by Western forces. 

At the main entrance, Taliban fighters periodically fire into the air to clear the crowd in an attempt to disperse the crowd – but video of the fighters unleashing a volley of automatic fire shows the terrifying gauntlet evacuees have to negotiate. 

In other developments: 

  • Joe Biden said he can’t ‘recall’ if he was warned to maintain a troop presence in Afghanistan;
  • The US President insisted ‘no one is being killed’ during the chaos at the Kabul airport;
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed an armed resistance to the Taliban, which includes SAS-trained forces, in Afghanistan is forming in the Panjshir Valley;
  • Afghanistan’s biggest female pop star has escaped on a US flight out of Kabul as fears grow for women in the country after the Taliban’s vow to impose Sharia; 
  • Taliban militants are intensifying their hunt for people who worked with UK, US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, according to a confidential report to the UN;
  • The British Foreign Office issued a slew of action shots of Dominic Raab hard at work as he faced fury for failing to make a crucial phone call about Afghanistan while he was on holiday;
  • Women have led anti-Taliban protesters in Afghanistan today as they waved national flags in defiance of the Islamists to mark their country’s independence day.

A shocking image shows a near-empty evacuation flight taking the wife of an ex-Royal Marine commando out of Kabul as the Taliban block thousands of Afghans from entering the capital’s airport.Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing said on Twitter: ‘Kaisa is on her way home! BUT this aircraft is empty… scandalous as thousands wait outside #Kabul airport being crushed as they cannot get in. Sadly people will be left behind when this mission is over as we CANNOT get it right’

A baby is handed over to the American army over the perimeter wall of the airport for it to be evacuated, in Kabul

General view showing people near the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 19, 2021

Evacuees boarding a C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Kabul, August 18, 2021

US Marines assigned to 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit istanbul escort evacuees during an evacuation at Kabul airport

Westerners and visa holders trying to get to their flights say they are unable to get to the gates because of the crowd of up to 50,000 desperate locals who are gathering outside the airport and begging US and British troops to let them through

British citizens and dual nationals residing in Afghanistan getting on a RAF plane before being relocated to the UK

US troops at Kabul airport are using tear gas to control crowds of frantic Afghans who are trying to climb over to be put on evacuation flights.Footage shows shots being fired into the air in the darkness to disperse crowds 

Taliban gunmen open fire at crowds outside Kabul airport today as westerners and visa holders say they cannot get inside because of ‘huge crowds’ of ‘terrified locals’ 

Those on the ground say Taliban guards have little idea who to let inside the airport, while dishing out beatings, lashings and firing shots seemingly at random – causing further panic and chaos

Taliban fighters have now encircled the airport in Kabul and are deciding who gets to come in and who has to stay out.Checkpoints have been set up on both the civilian south side of the airport and the military north side, with gunshots fired in both locations to keep crowds back

Babies were thrown over barbed wire towards troops at Kabul airport in a desperate bid to get them out of the country as the west’s ignominious exit from Afghanistan continued

A young girl is passed to US soldiers guarding Hamid Karzai airport amid a desperate scramble to get out of the country by tens of thousands of Afghans who don’t want to be ruled by the Taliban

A British soldier carries an Afghan girl away from crowds at the gate, as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace today urged people not to pass their children to troops because they will not get a seat on flights out

Satellite images have revealed the extent of the crisis at Kabul airport, with cars crammed up against the southern civilian entrance and northern military entrance that can be seen from satellites

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