Watch: Emotional Ben Wallace reveals 'deep regret' over Afghanistan

An emotional Ben Wallace has been discussing the "deep part of regret" he feels over the bleak situation in Afghanistan.

The Defence Secretary was speaking after the Taliban claimed control of Kabul, with hundreds of British personnel deployed to the Afghan capital to rescue UK nationals and former British staff eligible for relocation to the UK.

Speaking to LBC, Mr Wallace - an ex-Army officer - acknowledged "some people won't get back" from Afghanistan, as he choked up.

When asked why he feels the current situation so personally, the Defence Secretary emotionally said: "Because I'm a soldier," before pausing, continuing: "Because it's sad and the west has done what it's done."

Watch: Video appearing to show Afghan civilians clinging to a US Air Force plane in Kabul.

The first flight carrying British nationals and embassy staff arrived at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire overnight.

Around 600 UK troops have been deployed to Kabul as part of Operation Pitting to help carry out the rescue efforts, with "contingencies for more", according to the Defence Secretary, who confirmed the timetable to remove Afghans and British people from the nation by 31 August has been shortened.

Mr Wallace told Sky News the Taliban "are in control" of Afghanistan, saying there is a sense of sadness in the recent events.

Asked if he acknowledged the Taliban had won the war, he said: "I don’t know about a win, I think, I acknowledge that the Taliban are in control of the country.

"You don’t have to be a political scientist to spot that’s where we’re at."

Mr Wallace also said a NATO return to take over Kabul was "not on the cards", adding: "The US have made itself clear that they’re not intending to stay and as the framework nation that leaves us with difficult choices and I’ve been pretty much honest about that all the way through this process."

If you or someone you know needs support at this time, you can find more information by visiting the British Army website and the Government's website.

Further details about support available can be found on our website.

Join Our Newsletter


How new Mk 41 Vertical Missile systems increase firepower for Royal Navy

French infantry troops commitment to security of Nato's eastern border

How is Estonia dealing with heightened Russian threat to its security?