British royal marine veteran details ‘terrifying’ Afghanistan airport experience

Good Morning Britain presenters Richard Bacon and Charlotte Hawkins spoke to former British royal marine commando Paul “Pen” Farthing who is currently in Afghanistan

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Kabul: Pen Farthing details wife’s evacuation attempt on GMB

A British royal marine veteran has detailed a ‘terrifying’ Kabul airport experience in Afghanistan.

Former British royal marine commando and animal sanctuary owner Paul “Pen” Farthing appeared in emotional scenes on Monday’ s instalment of the ITV breakfast show Good Morning Britain.

Now on Wednesday, the veteran returned to discuss the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of the country.

Speaking to hosts Richard Bacon and Charlotte Hawkins, Pen commented that the Taliban had “played a blinder” in how swiftly the organisation had taken control of the country.

He vocally criticised the decision of Western powers to leave the country and called it “absolutely shocking”.

The British veteran commented that the Taliban had taken over the building next door to him.

Former British royal marine commando Paul “Pen” Farthing told Good Morning Britain about the situation in Afghanistan



He added that businesses, banks and shops were staring to open up in Kabul again but that it was “absolute complete chaos” closer to the airport in the city, Hamid Karzai International Airport

Pen said that the Taliban were allowing people to flee and “pile in that medley of desperation” outside the airport.

He revealed that his Norwegian wife and his American colleague were both messaged yesterday to try and get on flights out of the country.

Pen revealed how his wife had struggled to get on a flight out of Kabul



Describing the scenes at the airport, Pen claimed: “When they got there the scrum of people – there was no control.”

He added: “The British military, the American military were not prepared for what they faced at that airport.

“Sadly my wife and country manager were crushed at the gate. The Americans on the other side, the British would not let them in and instead started firing warning shots into the air, which just created a mass panic.”

Pen revealed that his wife and country manager had been “crushed” at the gate by large crowds



Richard asked if they were injured in the chaos, but Pen noted thankfully they were not despite being “absolutely terrified”.

Pen added of his wife: “Everybody started running away from the gate because of the shooting and she’s still actually in another safe location in Kabul.”

He revealed that they now had no plans to go anywhere near the airport until they saw evidence that people were “walking towards that airport in a calm and controlled manner”.

Pen was critical of Western governments for their handling of the situation in Afghanistan



The animal sanctuary owner also noted that many would be trying to escape on final flights out of the country at the airport at the end of the month.

Richard noted that the image of the “Taliban have moved in next door” was “haunting” and sent a message of support that they all hoped his loved ones would be safe.

*Good Morning Britain airs on weekday mornings from 6am to 9am on ITV with past episodes on ITV Hub.

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