KABUL, Afghanistan (NewsNation Now) — A former U.K. Marine who founded an animal shelter in Afghanistan says he’s not leaving Kabul despite the situation rapidly deteriorating following the Taliban takeover.
Pen Farthing was a commander in the British Royal Marines more than a decade ago when he broke up a dogfight in the Afghan town of Nawzad. After that he took on a mission that he never expected after his deployment: Ken went back and he opened a sanctuary for abandoned or abused animals — mainly dogs and donkeys.
Farthing said what’s currently happening in Afghanistan is a nightmare.
“This is a humanitarian crisis of unbelievable proportions,” he said. “There are thousands and thousands of desperate people at [Hamid Karzai International Airport].”
Right now, more than 5,000 U.S. troops are in Kabul rushing to ramp up the evacuation effort. U.S. lawmakers were briefed Thursday morning that 6,741 people had been evacuated since Aug. 14, including 1,762 American citizens and Green Card holders, according to two congressional aides.
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But Farthing believes more needs to be done to get civilians out of the country.
“These are people who don’t have documentation to go to America. It’s an absolute disaster. There is no control whatsoever,” he said.
Farthing said hearing President Joe Biden say he had “no regrets” about the way the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan was enraging.
“We shouldn’t hang our heads in shame for what we have done to this country,” he said. “And if President Biden ever says again he has no regrets … How about all the thousands of U.S. soldiers, British soldiers — including my own Marines — who lost their lives in this country for what? We have just managed to remove the Taliban from power to put them back in power?”
Farthing says he’s refusing to leave without his rescue staff of 0-plus Afghans whose fate he fears for if he left them behind. He’s also concerned for the animals.
“We’re definitely also working on a plan B for the animals as well to try and get them out,” he said. “I’ve actually got access now, we’re trying to work on a cargo plane to the animals to remove them, but I have the exact same problem. How would I get them into that airport? It all comes down to the access to the airport needs to be improved.”