Kabul airport with US paratroopers conducting security
Afghanistan

Ex-Marine Pen Farthing's Plea To Taliban After Being 'Stuck' At Afghanistan's Kabul Airport

The Royal Marine veteran has asked the Taliban for "safe passage into the airport" for his convoy of charity staff and animals.

Kabul airport with US paratroopers conducting security

Former Royal Marine Pen Farthing says his team and animals are "stuck" at Kabul airport's circle.

In a series of tweets posted this morning, the veteran said: "We have a flight waiting," asking the Taliban for "safe passage into the airport" for his 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."

On Wednesday, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace offered a glimmer of hope for the former Royal Marine, who is seeking to secure the passage of 200 dogs and cats alongside his animal shelter staff out of Afghanistan.

Mr Wallace said if Mr Farthing arrived at the airport with his staff and animals, officials would seek to facilitate their departure aboard a chartered aircraft for the charity.

The Defence Secretary had earlier said the chartered plane would merely "block the airfield" and "sit there empty" as the processing of the thousands of people trying to leave Kabul would be prioritised over the airlifting of animals.

Mr Farthing, served in Helmand in the mid-2000s and set up the charity Nowzad to look after animals in Afghanistan, with the organisation rescuing dogs, cats and donkeys.

Since the collapse of the Afghan government, he has campaigned to have his staff and their families as well as 140 dogs and 60 cats evacuated from the country in a plan he has dubbed Operation Ark.

Mr Farthing has previously said he will not leave the staff of his Nowzad animal charity to the "absolutely horrendous fate" they are faced with.

Cover image: Kabul airport (Picture: US Department of Defense).