Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has blocked a private plane organised by supporters of the Nowzad animal rescue charity to airlift it’s staff and animals out of Afghanistan. Amongst those to be airlifted is Nowzad’s founder, a Sergeant in 42 Commando, Royal Marines, Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing who served in Iraq and Afghanistan for 22yrs before setting up the charity.
Despite the fact that this was a privately paid for commercial flight or the fact that the animals were due to be loaded into the cargo hold and the passenger deck would be exclusively used to carry 250 ex-pats and refugees, it seems the Ministry of Defence were more concerned about the political optics of a flight that rescues animals and have decided to block it. Furthermore, they’ve now blocked all communication with Pen Farthing himself and have effectively left him unprotected, behind enemy lines and with no safe route to get his team to Kabul airport.
On Sunday (22nd August), Dominic Dyer, a leading animal rights activist and founder of the Rescue the Animals Rescuers campaign, who has been working with Pen and his team to facilitate the evacuation, explained that they’ve been working with a number of ministers and have been talking to both the British & US govt’s, as well as the UN, to try and create a safe corridor for them through the city. He explained that they now have an evacuation plan in place but they just need clearance to land the plane.
Speaking to GB News today, a very angry Dominic Dyer didn’t hold back when it came to his feelings toward Ben Wallace MP, who’s career he said was “dead in the water for talking testicles all morning and claiming we’ve been making up what’s been going on in government.” Dyer claims that Wallace and his advisors have deliberately “sabotaged” a project that he, Pen Farthing and many other’s have been working on, including the Foreign Secretary, the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State at DEFRA and the Department of Transport. He explains that the Prime Minister and Home Secretary personally intervened to sign off 87 visas to get Pen and his team out of Kabul.
Talking about Pen Farthing, Dyer said that he was “a marine that would never leave his people in the field, never ever, and is one of the most bravest and courageous people I’ve ever met.” Dyer exclaimed of his shock that Ben Wallace would instruct Pen Farthing to leave his team behind to let them fend for themselves and that he should simply “kill all the animals.” On Ben Wallace, he adds.. “he’s flying by his pants, they’re burning, he’s in trouble, the Prime Minister’s going to have to rope him in, this is a massive massive PR disaster that they’re trying to get hold of in Downing Street.” Dyer goes on to describe the situation as “a turf war in Whitehall” and a “big big big pile of smoking manure on the Prime Ministers table.” Dyer then defiantly exclaims “this is like Dunkirk… remember when Dunkirk happened, the small boat owners were told by the military at the time, the Naval authority, ‘you can’t take those boats over, we’ll take them’ but then in the end they gave in, they allowed them to volunteer to take them.. Ben Wallace is going to get a nasty shock over the next 24hrs, we’re going nowhere, we are going to Kabul!”
Pen Farthing and his team are in a precarious position, effectively behind enemy lines, with no safe route to get to Kabul airport. They now have a plan to get the team and the animals to the airport but they can’t put it into action until they get the green light to land their plane from the MOD. Incidentally, they can’t rely on any British military support to get them out of the compound either because, as Pen explains, that would risk conflict with the Taliban so they are literally forced to make their own way to the airport, without any protection.
Pen and his team have already had a couple of close calls recently as they witnessed Taliban soldiers, on CCTV, at the entrance of the Nowzad compound on Friday (20th August) and we now understand that the Taliban have actually moved into premises next door to the compound, which makes the actions of Ben Wallace, today, indescribably callous.
The mission to evacuate the Nowzad team and all the rescue animals is called “Operation Ark” and it now has massive global support, as well as the support of a number of prominent celebrities. Ricky Gervais couldn’t hold back his anger and tweeted his response to today’s developments…
There have been no further news updates from the government or from the Nowzad team for at least 10hrs, which is extremely concerning as we’re now just a week away from the Taliban deadline for all foreign military forces to leave the country. It’s also concerning that the government haven’t responded to Pen or his team, despite being aware of just how exposed and vulnerable they are at the Nowzad compound in Kabul.
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