Ex-British marine threatened to ‘destroy’ government aide over Afghan pet airlift

A former Royal Marine told a U.K. government defense aide he would “f***ing destroy” him if he did not arrange for around 200 dogs and cats to be evacuated from Afghanistan, the Sunday Times reported.

Paul “Pen” Farthing, founder of Nowzad animal charity, left Kabul with his pets on a chartered plane on Friday night, sparking condemnation of the decision to rescue animals rather than people from a worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

As a deadline for the U.S. and its allies to withdraw from Afghanistan draws near, civilians are scrambling to get out of the country following the Taliban’s takeover. On Thursday, a suicide bomber struck near Kabul’s international airport, where Western forces are assisting with humanitarian evacuations.

In a heated audio message to Ministry of Defence special adviser Peter Quentin, leaked to the Sunday Times, Farthing took aim at the British government, who he has previously accused of blocking the flight. Those claims have been angrily denied by Ben Wallace, Britain’s defense secretary, who has insisted the U.K. will prioritize “people not pets.”

“Get me out of Afghanistan with my staff and my animals. I served for 22 years in the Royal Marine Commandos. I am not taking this bollocks from people like you who are blocking me. You’ve got ’til tomorrow morning. I’m on Sky News around about 7.45 and your name will be the only name people are talking about,” he said.

If Quentin did not help him, Farthing said would “spend the rest of my time f***ing destroying you on social media and every other f***ing platform I can find.”

Farthing — whose campaign to evacuate his animals sparked a supportive petition and celebrity endorsements — hit back at the suggestion his animals would be prioritized over people, saying the animals could be kept in the cargo hold of the private flight.

However, the British defense ministry said Farthing had been “assisted through the system at Kabul airport by the UK Armed Forces.” Many interpreters who served alongside U.K. troops have had to make their way alone.

Speaking to LBC Radio on Saturday, Tom Tugendhat, chair of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee said: “The difficulty is getting people into and out of the airport and we’ve just used a lot of troops to bring in 200 dogs. Meanwhile, my interpreter’s family are likely to be killed.”



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