THE UK will send 200 more troops out to Afghanistan to evacuate Brits who are stuck at Kabul’s airport, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
It comes as Dominic Raab this evening vowed Britain will go all-out to ensure the past two decades of fighting in Afghanistan weren’t in vain.
Terrified Brits last night pleaded: Get us out before it’s too late.
Today the Foreign Secretary emerged from the latest COBRA meeting with a pledge to protect the gains made by Western troops from the Taliban.
He said: “We need to consolidate and try and stabilise the gains which we’ve made with so much blood, sweat, tears and loss of life over 20 years.”
He added the UK will “use every means at our disposal” to rally international allies to help “rein in” the Taliban’s worst atrocities.
And he confirmed that 350 more UK nationals and Afghans who worked with UK troops will be evacuated in “the days that come”.
It comes after chaos broke out at Kabul airport yesterday, which saw a number of people die.
All of the airport’s flights have now been halted and The Ministry of Defence gas said no further Royal Air Force aircraft are due to depart Kabul today
The Taliban’s reign of terror has begun with fighters reportedly going door-to-door with a kill list and women face torture & execution under brutal new rules.
“We need to consolidate and try and stabilise the gains which we’ve made with so much blood, sweat, tears and loss of life over 20 years.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab
Disturbing reports are already emerging from Afghanistan as the government collapsed and the Taliban seized power once again nearly 20 years after being driven out by the West.
Taliban forces have already pledged to reintroduce the twisted laws which saw them brutalise women and gay people when they ruled Afghanistan in the 90s.
And there have already been reports throughout their advance of women being shot dead and girls as young as 12 being dragged from their homes to be “married”.
Mr Raab did not say how many Afghan refugees Britain will take but said “we’re a big-hearted nation”.
Mr Raab also faced a grilling over accusations he sloped back from his Cyprus holiday only yesterday after Kabul was captured.
The well-rested Foreign Sec said: “Everyone was caught by surprise by the pace and the scale of the Taliban takeover.”
Thousands of Afghans have already tried to flee the city as horrifying videos showed them desperately trying to climb aboard planes out of Afghanistan.
The disturbing reports come as…
Australian not-for-profit Forsaken Fighters – that helps support those left behind – tweeted one of the interpreters it works with was last night executed in Kandahar.
They shared the man – a dad-of-four- had been “mutilated” as they found out he had worked for both the US and UK around ten years ago.
Matt Zeller, a US veteran of the Afghan war, said about 44,000 Afghans who helped Washington during the 20-year conflict need to be rescued.
Zeller, who co-founded No One Left Behind, a charity that helps Afghans settle in the US, told Al Jazeera the reports outside of Kabul are “horrific”.
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He said: “There are public executions in Kandahar in the stadium.
“Women have been told they cannot leave their homes in Herat and the Taliban are going door to door in Mazar-i-Sharif looking for anyone who worked with the US military.”
Australian news outlet ABC previously reported Taliban fighters had sent chilling warnings to anyone it suspected of working with the West before its latest offensive.
“We have reports that you and other interpreters are in contact with infidel friends, to get you out of Afghanistan and get you a visa,” one letter read.
“Therefore you will not be forgiven by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, neither will we accept any other excuse.”
Afghan interpreters have previously said they fear being left behind under Taliban control will be a death sentence as they face being hunted down and executed.
It was reported one translator was stopped by Taliban militants and beheaded back in May – with witnesses saying the fighters told him he was a “spy for the Americans”.
It was reported by France24 that in July the Taliban issued an edict demanding local leaders to present lists of girls aged over 15 and widows under 45 so they could be married off the Taliban fighters.
Meanwhile, Taliban judge Gul Rahim bragged the barbaric violence would be making a return when he spoke to Bild in July.
He spoke proudly of handing down sentences featuring amputation and death – saying his favoured methods of execution are stonings or hangings.
And he said there can “only be two punishments” for gay people, either being stoned to death or being crushed by a 10ft high wall which is pushed down on top of them.
The speed of the Taliban’s victory has shaken the world and came just weeks after troops from the US, UK and other Nato countries left Afghanistan.
Twenty years after they were ejected by the US and its allies in the wake of 9/11 they are now back in power.
Boris Johnson has blamed the US for the advancement of the Taliban in Afghanistan, claiming President Biden “accelerated” their control.
The Prime Minister said the “difficult” situation had been exacerbated by the President’s decision to withdraw troops from the war-torn country.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country – saying he did so to “prevent a flood of bloodshed” and to stop the destruction of Kabul.
Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, described the Taliban victory “the biggest single foreign policy disaster” since Suez.
His colleague Johnny Mercer, who fought in the country, said it was “humiliating”.
Timeline of Taliban victory
THE Taliban surged to victory quicker than anyone expected…
April 14 – President Joe Biden announces US troops will withdraw from Afghanistan starting on May 1 and ending on September 11.
May 4 – Taliban fighters launch a major offensive on Afghan forces in southern Helmand and at least six other provinces.
June 7 – Government officials say fighting is raging in 26 of the country’s 34 provinces.
June 22 – Taliban fighters launch a series of attacks in the north of the country, far from their traditional strongholds in the south.
July 2 – American troops quietly pull out of their main military base in Afghanistan – Bagram Air Base, ending US involvement in the war.
July 21 – Taliban insurgents control about a half of the country’s districts, according to the senior US general, underlining the scale and speed of their advance.
July 25 – US vows to continue to support Afghan troops “in the coming weeks” with intensified airstrikes to help them counter Taliban attacks.
July 26 – The United Nations says nearly 2,400 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in May and June in escalating violence, the highest number for those months since records started in 2009.
August 6 – Zaranj in the south of the country becomes the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban in years and many more the ensuing days, including the prized city of Kunduz in the north.
August 13 – Four more provincial capitals fall in a day, including Kandahar, the country’s second city and spiritual home of the Taliban. In the west, another key city, Herat, is overrun.
August 14 – The Taliban take the major northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and, with little resistance, Pul-e-Alam, capital of Logar province just 40 miles south of Kabul.
August 15 – The Taliban take the key eastern city of Jalalabad without a fight, effectively surrounding Kabul.
In scenes that echoed the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War, helicopters were seen ferrying US embassy staff to safety at a secure area near the airport.
The Taliban appeared to offer an amnesty for government forces and said they want a “peaceful transfer of power”.
“No one’s life, property and dignity will be harmed and the lives of the citizens of Kabul will not be at risk,” the Taliban said.
But questions remain about whether the Taliban leadership is able to control troops on the ground and prevent them taking revenge.
When the Taliban last entered Kabul in 1996 after first seizing power, they tortured a former President then dragged him into the streets and hanged him.