Pen Farthing news latest: Ex-marine announces his return to the UK on twitter as rescued dogs begin quarantine

PEN Farthing's rescued dogs are adjusting to life in quarantine after jetting into Heathrow from Afghanistan this weekend.

The ex-Royal Marine yesterday said almost all of his 173 cats and dogs are lined up for loving new homes as he praised the "phenomenal" efforts of troops in getting his animals to Britain.

After landing, he took to Twitter to express his thanks for being evacuated out of Afghanistan.

However, on Monday he spoke of the need for less criticism and more action, as 68 Nowzad staff and dependants, including 25 children and one new-born baby, are still in the country.

Mr Farthing said: “We’d like to thank the Home Office, FCDO, MoD and all of Govt for their support with Op Ark, and look forward to working closely with them over the coming weeks whilst we complete our mission, getting those 68 people out of Afghanistan and back to safety. Whilst those vulnerable staff, mostly young women, remain in danger in Afghanistan, we shall not rest.

“In the same way that the MoD needs to be left alone to get on with the important work of evacuating staff and troops out of Afghanistan, likewise we need to focus on the second and most important part of Op Ark, getting those vulnerable vets and vet nurses and their children out of Kabul, rather than having to deal with ill-informed comments from MPs, the press and armchair pundits.”

Read our Kabul explosion live blog for the latest updates…

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    WHITE HOUSE SAYS US MOVED 1,200 PEOPLE FROM KABUL ON SUNDAY

    The United States air lifted about 1,200 people from Kabul on Sunday, the White House said on Monday.

    The nation’s massive evacuation from Afghanistan entered its final day today.

    Britain’s evacuation mission has already wrapped up after ending on Sunday.

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    BIDEN TO RECEIVE BODIES OF 13 US MILITARY MEMBERS KILLED IN A KABUL AIRPORT SUICIDE BOMB AT DOVER AIR FORCE BASE

    The President and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, will meet the families of service members killed in the terror attack today, the White House confirmed.

    They will then witness the transfer of the military members’ remains from an aircraft flown to the base in Delaware.

    The 11 Marines have been identified as Rylee McCollum, Nicole Gee, Dylan Merola, Kareem Nikoui, Jared Schmitz, Humberto Sanchez, Hunter Lopez, Taylor Hoover, Daegan Page, Johanny Rosario Pichardo, and 20-year-old David Lee Espinoza.

    A US Navy medic has been identified as Max Soviak. Finally, a US Army soldier named Ryan Knauss was also killed.

    Marine Nicole Gee was previously captured caring for the baby of an Afghan evacuee in a touching photo before being killed in the blast on Thursday.

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    ISLAMIC STATE CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR ROCKET ATTACK ON KABUL AIRPORT

    Islamic State claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Kabul airport on Monday, the group’s Nasher News said on its Telegram channel.

    “By the grace of God Almighty, the soldiers of the Caliphate targeted Kabul International Airport with six Katyusha rockets,” it said.

    U.S. anti-missile defences intercepted as many as five rockets fired at Kabul’s airport early on Monday, a U.S. official said.

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    ‘SIX ROCKETS FIRED AT KABUL AIRPORT’ & GET INTERCEPTED BY US ANTI-MISSILE SYSTEM AFTER DRONE ‘WIPES OUT ISIS-K SQUAD’

    It came just hours after forces launched a drone that killed "ISIS-K squad members" suspected of preparing to attack the airport.

    Officials say initial reports did not indicate any US casualties but it's not clear if every rocket was taken down by the defense system.

    The US' C-RAM defense system detects potential attacks and uses a machine gun to destroy rockets before they hit their target.

    The rockets struck in Kabul's Salim neighborhood, witnesses told the Associated Press.

    They said they heard three explosions and then saw a flash in the sky.

    Gunfire followed the explosions but it remains unclear who was firing.

    The Islamic State groups affiliate in Afghanistan has claimed responsibility for Monday's rocket attack in Kabul, saying it fired at least six Katyusha rockets at the airport in the Afghan capital.

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    SHOCKING MOMENT TALIBAN MILITANTS STORM KABUL TV STATION TO DEMAND ANCHOR PRAISE AFGHAN TERROR GROUP

    Footage of the Sunday incident, which was shared on Twitter and swiftly amassed over one million views, showed an Afghan TV anchor reading the news with gun-toting Taliban members alongside him.

    The video was recorded at the Afghan TV network Peace Studio and comes just weeks after the United States abruptly withdrew from Afghanistan — allowing the Taliban to regain power, nearly 20 years after the US came into the country in the wake of 9/11.

    BBC's Yalda Hakim tweeted a video clip of the news report on Sunday afternoon and wrote: "Afghanistan TV – surreal.

    "This is what a political debate now looks like on Afghan TV, Taliban foot soldiers watching over the host.

    "The presenter talks about the collapse of the Ghani govt & says the Islamic Emirate says the Afghan people should not to be afraid #Afghanistan."

    During the 42-second clip, it seemed as if the news presenter was being stared down by the two militants standing on each side of him.

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    PEN FARTHING'S DOGS ARE IN QUARANTINE

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    PEN FARTHING’S RESCUED DOGS START THEIR QUARANTINE AT UK CENTRE AS HE HAILS ‘PHENOMENAL’ TROOPS

    The ex-Royal Marine yesterday said almost all of his 173 cats and dogs are lined up for loving new homes as he praised the "phenomenal" efforts of troops in getting his animals to Britain.

    Photos shared by Lozzas Lurcher Rescue – one of the groups hired to bring the pets to their undisclosed quarantine location – shows a white pooch getting its belly rubbed by a doting staff member.

    The group called the animals their "precious cargo" and praised Pen for "the most amazing rescue mission" while lauding his "sheer guts and determination".

    Meanwhile, rescue group Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary – who transported its own share of hounds – posted a picture of some of their charges being cared for by staff.

    A post on the Lozzas Lurcher Rescue group read: "Wow what an emotional day.

    "My precious cargo that I was in charge of included a retired military dog.

    "Every dog has been really well looked after and Pen has done just the most amazing rescue mission. Each dog totally deserved this chance of a new life."

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    NOWZAD CHARITY SAYS ITS THOUGHTS ARE NOW WITH PEN FARTHING’S STAFF IN KABUL

    Confirming the news Mr Farthing and the animals had left Afghanistan, the Nowzad charity said: “The last few days have been extremely difficult and hazardous for Pen and the Nowzad team and we very much appreciate your patience and messages of support as we have strived to get them to safety.

    “We know that Pen will update you as soon as he is able.”

    But it said their “thoughts for now are with our staff and the many people and animals who have also been left behind.

    “We will do our utmost to help them,” the statement added.

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    EX-MARINE EVACUATES ANIMALS FROM KABUL BUT SHELTER STAFF LEFT BEHIND

    A former Royal Marine has succeeded in evacuating to the UK around 170 dogs and cats from an animal shelter in Afghanistan.

    But Paul “Pen” Farthing’s privately funded charter flight, which arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport at about 7.30am on Sunday, was not carrying his 24 staff and dependents from the Nowzad shelter in Kabul.

    Dominic Dyer, an animal welfare campaigner and supporter of Mr Farthing, said the former marine was forced to travel back alone after being told it was not possible to find people to fill the plane’s seats.

    Mr Farthing’s campaign to get workers and animals from the shelter out of Afghanistan has caused controversy in recent days, after receiving a huge amount of public support.

    Mr Dyer said the shelter staff were “still in their homes” with the charity in contact with them, adding that efforts would be made to try to get them out of Afghanistan.

    “They are one of thousands of Afghans… that have a right to leave the country but actually have no safe passage out at the moment,” he said.

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    TALIBAN MILITANTS STEAL £62BILLION WORTH OF HELICOPTERS, ARMOURED VEHICLES AND WEAPONS AFTER AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL

    An eye-watering amount of US military inventory is now in the hands of the terror group after they surged across the war-torn nation in a matter of weeks, plundering stocks of weapons and vehicles.

    The Taliban now has access to billions of pounds worth of equipment, including identification devices that could alarmingly help them identify Afghans who helped coalition forces – many of whom remain stranded in Kabul.

    According to US Republican Congressman Jim Banks – who served in Afghanistan as an officer in charge of supplying weapons – the group now has "more Black Hawk helicopters than 85 per cent of the countries in the world".

    "Due to the negligence of this administration, the Taliban now has access to $85billion (£62billion) worth of military equipment," he said.

    "Unbelievably, and unfathomable to me and so many others, the Taliban now has access to biometric devices.

    "This administration still has no plan to get this military equipment or supplies back."

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    TALIBAN MILITANTS STEAL £62BILLION WORTH OF HELICOPTERS, ARMOURED VEHICLES AND WEAPONS AFTER AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL

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    MUM OF BABY INJURED IN KABUL BOMBING BEGS PM TO HELP REUNITE HER WITH HER TWO CHILDREN

    THE grieving young mum of a baby boy gravely hurt in the Kabul Airport suicide bombing is pleading with PM Boris Johnson to help reunite her with her two children.

    Basbibi Raza, 19, wept as she revealed that Muhammad Raza — two next month — needs a life-saving operation in the next 48 hours.

    The tot was hit by shrapnel in the blast which killed his dad Miraj and grandad Sultan, 48.

    He has already had surgery in Afghanistan where he remains with his five-month-old sister, Kalsoom.

    Basbibi was split from her family moments before Thursday’s attack which killed at least 170, including 13 US troops and three Brits.

    Read more here.

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    JAMES CLEVERLY DEFENDS DOMINIC RAAB (CONTINUED…)

    Asked directly whether Mr Raab was a "control freak", Mr Cleverly said: "No, that's not true. It's not true."

    On the suggestion Mr Raab was "toast" in the next reshuffle because of his failings, Mr Cleverly told LBC Radio: "Government departments and ministers – including Dominic – worked incredibly hard, we worked together, we were able to get out over 15,000 people in those last couple of weeks, because all bits of Government had a role to play and discharged those roles and those functions incredibly, incredibly, professionally.

    "That includes Dominic, as well. None of us could have done it on our own, we could only do it working collaboratively, that's what happened.

    "It was a brutal, horrible, incredibly difficult time and yet – as I say – we were able to evacuate over 15,000 people and that is a herculean task."

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    JAMES CLEVERLY DEFENDS DOMINIC RAAB OVER AFGHANISTAN COLLAPSE

    A Foreign Office minister has defended the organisation's response to the crisis in Afghanistan amid allegations that Dominic Raab is a "control freak" who faces the sack.

    James Cleverly insisted the allegations about the Foreign Secretary's style of leadership were "not true" and insisted the organisation had responded swiftly to the unprecedented events in Afghanistan.

    Mr Raab has faced criticism for being on holiday in Crete as the Taliban swept across Afghanistan.

    In the latest sign of the Whitehall infighting, one Government source told The Times: "I think he is toast in the next reshuffle", and the Foreign Office "is a poorly-led organisation with a control freak in charge who won't delegate anything".

    But Mr Cleverly told Times Radio: "I don't know where that's where that's coming from. The organisation that I see really sprang quickly into an activity that was at a scale and nature that was unprecedented."

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    'EMBARRASSED' EX-MARINE APOLOGISES OVER EXPLETIVE-LADEN MESSAGE FOR AIDE

    A former Royal Marine has admitted his emotions "got the better" of him when he left an expletive-laden message for a Government aide while trying to evacuate around 170 dogs and cats from an animal shelter in Afghanistan to the UK.

    Paul "Pen" Farthing arrived at London's Heathrow Airport in a privately funded charter flight at about 7.30am on Sunday, following his Operation Ark campaign to get workers and animals from the Nowzad shelter in Kabul out of the country.

    A recording, obtained by The Times, captured Mr Farthing berating Peter Quentin, a special adviser to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, earlier in the week, accusing him of "blocking" efforts to arrange the evacuation flight.

    On Monday, Mr Farthing told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I'm incredibly embarrassed about my language, I do apologise to everybody who's listened to that.

    "I was at the lowest point I could possibly be. I understand how the world works but emotions got the better of me, so for all those who had to listen to that I do apologise for my language. I should not have said it like that, but the sentiment, yes, I was just incredibly upset, angry, frustrated, it was the lowest point. I had no other option, I didn't know what else to do.

    "So that's why you've probably heard some colourful language."

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    THE TALIBAN IS A 'LONG WAY' FROM DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION, SAYS JAMES CLEVERLY

    The UK is a "long way" from offering diplomatic recognition to the Taliban in Afghanistan, a Foreign Office minister said as international powers considered how to deal with the new regime in Kabul.

    James Cleverly said the Taliban would be judged on its actions as an intensive round of diplomacy began in Washington and at the United Nations.

    The Taliban has been urged to allow safe passage to people seeking to leave Afghanistan as Foreign Office minister Mr Cleverly acknowledged it was impossible to say how many people eligible to come to the UK were still in the country.

    Around 15,000 people had been evacuated from Afghanistan in a "herculean" effort, Mr Cleverly said, but Labour has claimed around 5,000 may have been left behind and ministers have faced criticism over the UK response.

    Mr Cleverly acknowledged some emails about desperate Afghans seeking to leave may not have been read in the Foreign Office as priority in the evacuation effort was given to people who could be processed and reached Kabul airport before the airlift ended.

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    PEN FARTHING DISMISSES CLAIMS HE WAS HELPED BY UK GOVERNMENT TO GET INTO KABUL AIRPORT

    Mr Farthing dismissed claims that he was helped by the UK Government to get into Kabul airport with his animals.

    He said: "Nobody in the British Government facilitated my entry into that airport – I did that with the Taliban.

    "I came up to the British checkpoint, that was the first time – and this is well into the airport, the Taliban and British are stood there, there's some barbed wire separating them – that was the first time I spoke to any British people.

    "So whoever is making any accusations or any comments needs to actually have been stood there on the ground to see how I got into that airport.

    "Nobody facilitated my entry… any interpreters or anybody else, there was me and the truck full of dogs and cats, which went into a cargo hold where you cannot put people."

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    PEN FARTHING CLAIMS TALIBAN FACILITATED ENTRY INTO AIRPORT

    Mr Farthing’s Operation Ark campaign became hugely topical on social media, but Mr Wallace had complained it was distracting from the focus on evacuating the most vulnerable out of Afghanistan.

    Mr Wallace previously said Ministry of Defence staff had faced abuse from Mr Farthing’s supporters.

    However, Mr Farthing dismissed claims that he was helped by the UK Government to get into Kabul airport with his animals.

    He said: “Nobody in the British Government facilitated my entry into that airport – I did that with the Taliban.

    “I came up to the British checkpoint, that was the first time – and this is well into the airport, the Taliban and British are stood there, there’s some barbed wire separating them – that was the first time I spoke to any British people.

    “So whoever is making any accusations or any comments needs to actually have been stood there on the ground to see how I got into that airport.

    “Nobody facilitated my entry… any interpreters or anybody else, there was me and the truck full of dogs and cats, which went into a cargo hold where you cannot put people.”

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    PEN FARTHING WAS TOLD THERE WAS ‘ENOUGH CAPACITY’ ON FLIGHT TO GET REMAINING PEOPLE OUT OF AIRPORT

    Mr Farthing added he was the only person on the flight but he was told there was “enough capacity” to get the remaining people in the airport out.

    He said: “I was probably like the last person to enter that airport – it was closed. Americans, the British, had obviously stopped taking people in because there had to be a point where they stopped taking people in.

    “So they assured me they had enough capacity for everybody who was inside the airport.”

    All of the almost 100 dogs and 70 cats on the flight were “healthy”, with the dogs placed in kennels, according to Dominic Dyer, an animal welfare campaigner and supporter of Mr Farthing.

  • Joseph Gamp

    EX-MARINE STILL WORKING TO EVACUATE 68 MORE PEOPLE FROM AFGHANISTAN

    A former Royal Marine is still working to help evacuate 68 animal shelter staff and family members from Afghanistan after ensuring the transportation of over 150 dogs and cats to the UK.

    Paul "Pen" Farthing arrived at London's Heathrow Airport in a privately funded charter flight at about 7.30am on Sunday, following his Operation Ark campaign to get workers and animals from the Nowzad shelter in Kabul out of the country.

    However, he spoke of the need for less criticism and more action, as 68 Nowzad staff and dependents, including 25 children and one new-born baby, are still in the country.

    Mr Farthing said: "We'd like to thank the Home Office, FCDO, MoD and all of Govt for their support with Op Ark, and look forward to working closely with them over the coming weeks whilst we complete our mission, getting those 68 people out of Afghanistan and back to safety.

    "Whilst those vulnerable staff, mostly young women, remain in danger in Afghanistan, we shall not rest.

    "In the same way that the MoD needs to be left alone to get on with the important work of evacuating staff and troops out of Afghanistan, likewise we need to focus on the second and most important part of Op Ark, getting those vulnerable vets and vet nurses and their children out of Kabul, rather than having to deal with ill-informed comments from MPs, the press and armchair pundits."

  • Joseph Gamp

    WHITE HOUSE SAYS US MOVED 1,200 PEOPLE FROM KABUL ON SUNDAY

    The United States air lifted about 1,200 people from Kabul on Sunday, the White House said on Monday.

    The nation's massive evacuation from Afghanistan entered its final day today.

    Britain's evacuation mission has already wrapped up after ending on Sunday.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ISLAMIC STATE CLAIMS ROCKET ATTACK ON KABUL AIRPORT

    The Islamic State group claimed a rocket attack on Kabul airport on Monday, as US troops raced to complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan and evacuate allies under the threat of further violence.

    President Joe Biden has set a deadline of Tuesday to withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan, drawing to a close his nation's longest military conflict, which began in retaliation for the September 11 attacks.

    The return of the hardline Islamist Taliban movement, which was toppled in 2001 but took back power a fortnight ago, triggered an exodus of terrified people aboard US-led evacuation flights.

    Those flights, which have taken more than 122,000 people out of Kabul airport, will officially end on Tuesday when the last of the thousands of American troops pull out.

    US forces are now focused chiefly on flying themselves and American diplomats out safely.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING AND ANIMALS LEFT KABUL YESTERDAY

    PEN Farthing and his animals left Kabul yesterday evening after British troops helped them board a chartered plane.

    The former commando turned animal rescuer had planned to bring his charity staff along with nearly 200 dogs and cats.

    But Pen, 57, was forced to leave behind 24 people and their dependants because of paperwork changes last week.

    He said: “It is so depressing. Some of them came with me to the airport but they weren’t allowed to cross the line.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    ‘EMBARRASSED’ EX-MARINE APOLOGISES OVER EXPLETIVE-LADEN MESSAGE FOR AIDE

    A former Royal Marine has admitted his emotions “got the better” of him when he left an expletive-laden message for a Government aide while trying to evacuate around 170 dogs and cats from an animal shelter in Afghanistan to the UK.

    Paul “Pen” Farthing arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport in a privately funded charter flight at about 7.30am on Sunday, following his Operation Ark campaign to get workers and animals from the Nowzad shelter in Kabul out of the country.

    A recording, obtained by The Times, captured Mr Farthing berating Peter Quentin, a special adviser to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, earlier in the week, accusing him of “blocking” efforts to arrange the evacuation flight.

    On Monday, Mr Farthing told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I’m incredibly embarrassed about my language, I do apologise to everybody who’s listened to that.

    “I was at the lowest point I could possibly be. I understand how the world works but emotions got the better of me, so for all those who had to listen to that I do apologise for my language. I should not have said it like that, but the sentiment, yes, I was just incredibly upset, angry, frustrated, it was the lowest point. I had no other option, I didn’t know what else to do.

    “So that’s why you’ve probably heard some colourful language.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    THE TALIBAN IS A ‘LONG WAY’ FROM DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION, SAYS JAMES CLEVERLY

    The UK is a “long way” from offering diplomatic recognition to the Taliban in Afghanistan, a Foreign Office minister said as international powers considered how to deal with the new regime in Kabul.

    James Cleverly said the Taliban would be judged on its actions as an intensive round of diplomacy began in Washington and at the United Nations.

    The Taliban has been urged to allow safe passage to people seeking to leave Afghanistan as Foreign Office minister Mr Cleverly acknowledged it was impossible to say how many people eligible to come to the UK were still in the country.

    Around 15,000 people had been evacuated from Afghanistan in a “herculean” effort, Mr Cleverly said, but Labour has claimed around 5,000 may have been left behind and ministers have faced criticism over the UK response.

    Mr Cleverly acknowledged some emails about desperate Afghans seeking to leave may not have been read in the Foreign Office as priority in the evacuation effort was given to people who could be processed and reached Kabul airport before the airlift ended.

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