“I really feel betrayed by the British.”
Shaheen and his two brothers had been as soon as a part of an elite Afghan particular forces unit and fought facet by facet with British commandos for years.
However when Kabul fell to the Taliban within the chaos of August 2021, so a lot of his comrades had been left behind. His brother Qahraman was hunted down and killed.
“We had been like one household,” he says. “I can’t bear to listen to that my colleagues are actually hiding in Afghanistan and that their lives are in peril.”
Sky Information can reveal that dozens of troopers who served in two Afghan particular forces arrange, educated and paid by the British have since been killed or tortured by the British. Taliban.
Working with Lighthouse Reviews and The Unbiased, Sky Information has verified dozens of instances during which the Taliban focused and bodily harmed these former commandos who risked their lives alongside the British.
Shaheen informed Sky Information how he and his two brothers spent years as a part of Commando Drive 333 (CF333), an Afghan particular forces unit arrange by the British in 2002.
His title and his brother’s title have been modified on this story to guard his household.
Within the mid-2000s, pockets of Taliban fighters had been nonetheless scattered Afghanistanregardless of their regime being overthrown by the coalition of worldwide forces, together with the US and Britain.
Often known as the Triples, CF333 and fellow unit ATF444 launched into joint missions with the British to combat the remaining Taliban – receiving salaries from the British authorities, it may be revealed for the primary time.
The camp the place she and the British commandos had been stationed grew to become a house for Shaheen and his brothers, he informed Sky Information.
They took satisfaction of their work and had been concerned in particular operations round Afghanistan, placing themselves in danger for his or her nation.
“Despite the fact that they had been youthful than me, my brothers and I had been so shut that we had been buddies,” says Shaheen.
Chaos when Kabul fell to the Taliban
When the US and Britain introduced their withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years, Taliban fighters swept by way of the nation and earlier than lengthy they had been on the gates of Kabul.
“I did not know what to do,” says Shaheen. “I did not return house as a result of I might be a prime goal for the Taliban.
“So for 2 days I wandered the streets of Kabul, not realizing after I could be killed.”
Along with Qahraman and a few of their comrades, Shaheen managed to enter the airport, the final a part of town not beneath Taliban management. Their different brother had managed to go away Afghanistan by crossing the border elsewhere.
“Circumstances had been horrible on the airport,” says Shaheen. “I noticed ladies and kids being attacked. Individuals had been being crushed with golf equipment, it was horrible.”
Whereas Shaheen was allowed to fly out of Afghanistan, his brother was turned away.
Qahraman hunted by the Taliban
Shaheen says that after Qahraman left the airport “he was noticed and adopted,” and went to their sister’s home.
He did not depart the home for 10 days. When he lastly did, a bunch of individuals shot him.
Requested whether or not he blames the British for his brother’s dying, Shaheen says: “He labored laborious for the British. When he was kicked out of the airport, he grew to become a goal.”
Now residing in a cramped home in Birmingham together with his spouse and kids, Shaheen says he’s a shadow of his former self.
“I misplaced every part,” he says.
“I do not even have 10% of what I used to be. Even right here I’ve nothing to be happy with.”
‘Unjustified’ purpose to disclaim Triples entry to Nice Britain
Regardless of serving shoulder to shoulder with British forces, nearly all of the Triples weren’t evacuated in August 2021 and subsequently turned away beneath the British plan for the relocation of Afghans working with the British – often called the Afghan Relocation and Help Program (ARAP). ).
Most have been informed it is because they didn’t work “alongside, in partnership with or in shut assist of… a UK authorities division” – regardless of compelling proof on the contrary.
A British veteran, who served alongside the Triples for 5 years, mentioned the connection between the Afghan and British items was a “utterly symbiotic partnership”.
“We had been utterly embedded,” the veteran mentioned. ‘We had been one unit. You could not cooperate extra with the British than they do.’
Charlie Herbert, a former British Military main normal who served in Afghanistan, mentioned denying the Triples entry to Britain on the grounds that that they had not labored alongside British forces, in partnership with the British armed forces have labored or did not intently assist them is ‘each unfair and unjust’. “.
He added: “I can consider no different Afghan safety forces that had been extra intently linked to Britain than 333 and 444, nor that had been extra loyal or brave of their assist of our navy goals.”
One other veteran, who served alongside the CF333s, mentioned: “They risked their lives to combat us for us the correct manner. They had been the nationwide pressure that carried out the orders of the British authorities. This might not be extra according to the strategic pursuits of the UK. “
Conversations with present and former sources from the UK Ministry of Protection (MoD) recommend that the UK Particular Forces department successfully “blocked” the Triples from being accepted beneath ARAP.
It’s unclear why.
Learn extra from Sky Information:
Afghanistan: How the US Misplaced Its Longest Warfare
The story of how the ‘largest combating pressure’ left Afghanistan
Ministry of Protection: We’ve got by no means made normal selections
When contacted, the ministry didn’t deny that British Particular Forces refused to approve the instances.
A Ministry of Protection spokesperson mentioned: “The UK Authorities has made an formidable and beneficiant dedication to assist eligible folks in Afghanistan. Up to now, we’ve got introduced roughly 24,600 folks to security, together with hundreds of individuals eligible for our Afghan applications.
“The Division of Protection has by no means made blanket selections on purposes from any cohort enrolled within the ARAP program. All eligibility selections are made on a case-by-case foundation primarily based on strict standards made in accordance with immigration rules and primarily based on the proof supplied. by people.”
Shaheen, like so a lot of his surviving comrades, needs to know why they stayed behind and for the obvious block on Triples purposes to be lifted.
However for thus many it’s already too late. They’ve already been hunted by the Taliban.
“There’s a saying in my nation,” says Shaheen. “On one facet there is a cliff and on the opposite facet there is a tiger ready for you, so you do not have a lot of a alternative.”
Story co-authored with: Could Bulman, Investigative Editor at Lighthouse Reviews, Fahim Abed, Investigative Editor at Lighthouse Reviews and Monica C Camacho, OSINT Reporter at Lighthouse Reviews
Extra reporting by Katy Scholes, Sky Information worldwide producer