James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
US military dogs evacuated amidst Kabul airport chaos as Afghans flee Taliban
17 August 2021, 20:35 | Updated: 18 August 2021, 08:39
Military dogs were reportedly reserved seats on US aircraft whilst hundreds of Afghan citizens amassed upon Kabul airport, desperate to leave the country.
Military dogs belonging to the US have been included in efforts to evacuate its citizens and former staff.
They were reportedly reserved their own seats on flights, with images appearing to show dogs sitting on aeroplane seats alongside handlers.
Images also show the animals waiting to board flights at the international airport with their handlers. Video footage from American broadcasters also shows US evacuees entering the airport grounds with the dogs.
Meanwhile, thousands of people rushed to Kabul airport on August 16 in an attempt to flee the Taliban-controlled country.
Shocking videos and images showed Afghans clinging on to the side of aeroplanes as they taxied down the runway, and US forces had to suspend all military flights several times in order to regain control.
American officials confirmed that at least 5 people were killed at the airport, some after falling off planes in mid-air.
Social media users have criticised the choice, questioning whether seats could not have instead been given to more Afghan staff and their families.
One Twitter user wrote: "The US military has managed to evacuate their Service dogs in Afghanistan. They all got seats in the plane, but innocent Afghanis hang onto the tyres of the same plane and fell thousands of feet to their deaths. Let that sink in!"
Images emerged later on August 16 of a US military plane filled with around 640 Afghans, many of whom boarded at the last minute as the doors closed and the plane took off.
The Afghans were pictured crowded together on the floor of the plane. Despite carrying around five times its intended capacity, the plane landed safely in Kabul.
Today, US military personnel are lining the runway in order to prevent a repeat of yesterday’s events, when the runway was overrun with Afghan citizens.
Evacuation efforts are continuing by the US, UK and other allied nations.