THE first Brits and Afghan refugees have safely touched down in the UK after escaping the murderous clutches of Taliban thanks to a dramatic RAF rescue.
One relieved passenger gave a delighted thumbs-up as evacuees aboard an Airbus KC2 Voyager aircraft from Kabul landed at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.
Around 20,000 Afghans will be flown to Britain to escape the Taliban in one of the biggest resettlements in our history.
At least 12 military flights left Kabul on Tuesday, including three UK jets.
Most headed to more stable parts of the Middle East such as Doha before passengers could catch charter flights back to the UK.
The PM will today vow to rescue women and girls in particular from the clutches of the fanatics.
He will vow to honour the “debt” the country owes the Afghan people by rescuing the most vulnerable.
It comes as MPs are summoned back to Parliament for an emergency debate on the Afghanistan crisis which has rocked the world.
Announcing the new resettlement scheme, the PM will say: “We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who have worked with us to make Afghanistan a better place over the last 20 years.
“Many of them, particularly women, are now in urgent need of our help. I am proud that the UK has been able to put in place this route to help them and their families live safely in the UK.”
He will also call for the international community to “come together” to set “firm conditions” to stop the Taliban from plunging the country into the medieval violence and oppression which made them so notorious in the 1990s.
And he will urge the West to work with the Middle East to stop the Afghan disaster turning into a humanitarian catastrophe.
Home Secretary Priti Patel will add: “I want to ensure that as a nation we do everything possible to provide support to the most vulnerable fleeing Afghanistan so they can start a new life in safety in the UK, away from the tyranny and oppression they now face.
“Our country has a proud history of offering sanctuary to those in need. We will not abandon people who have been forced to flee their homes and are now living in terror of what might come next.
“The Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme will save lives.”
The programme — one of the biggest of its kind in British history — will focus on giving asylum to women, girls and religious minorities fleeing persecution.
It will run for five years, with 5,000 Afghans offered asylum this year alone.
It comes on top of the existing ARAP scheme, which will give asylum to 5,000 interpreters and other Afghans who worked with Britain over the past 20 years.
This year, 10,000 desperate Afghans will be given a home in the UK, with a total of 25,000 welcomed over the next five years.
We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who have worked with us to make Afghanistan a better place over the last 20 years.
It’s reported that around 1,700 local staff who worked with Brits in the war-torn country have had their claims approved, according to the MailOnline.