Images shared to social media appear to show US military dogs being given seats on aircrafts intended to evacuate people from Afghanistan.
As hundreds of desperate Afghan citizens descended upon Kabul Airport in a bid to flee the Taliban, it was reported that the American canines were reserved their own seats on the flights, with photos appearing to show them sitting on aeroplane seats alongside handlers.
Other images showed the animals waiting to board the flights – used to evacuate US citizens and former staff in Afghanistan – at the international airport, and broadcast footage showed Americans entering the airport grounds with the dogs.
Social media users have criticised the move, questioning whether the seats could not have instead been given to more Afghan staff and their families and pointing to sickening footage earlier this week of Afghans clinging to the side of aeroplanes as they taxied down the runway.
"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!" one person wrote on Twitter.
"The evacuation of US military dogs from the Kabul airport is more important than the Afghans who worked with the US military," another wrote.
"US military dogs evacuated ahead of human collaborators. Good idea to avoid collaborating with the US occupation forces unless you're a dog," said another.
Others pointed out, however, that the dogs "are military personnel and are treated as such. They are booked on flights & allocated seating (when available). This is STANDARD procedure. It does NOT mean dogs are being put before people."
As the US, UK, Australia and other allied nations continue their evacuation efforts, the Biden administration has faced increased criticism for withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, and for the President's response to the devastation.
To nobody's surprise, former president Donald Trump has been among those to eviscerate his successor, Joe Biden, calling the botched withdrawal "the greatest embarrassment in the history of our country".
"It's a terrible time for our country. I don't think, in all of the years, our country has ever been so humiliated," Trump, who was the one to put the withdrawal process in motion, told Fox News last night.
"I don't know whether you call it a military defeat or a psychological defeat. There's never been anything like that's happened here.
"Biden put is in this position. He should have got the civilians out first. Then he should have taken the military equipment, because we have billions of dollars of brand new, beautiful equipment. Take the equipment out, then take the soldiers out."
Overnight, the United States embassy in Afghanistan warned it "cannot ensure safe passage" for its citizens to Kabul International Airport.
In a security alert, the embassy urged Americans to consider making a break for the airport, whose interior is protected by thousands of US troops. But entrances to the complex are being controlled by Taliban forces.
"US government-provided flights are departing," the alert said.
"US citizens, their spouses and unmarried children should consider travelling to Hamid Karzai International Airport. You should plan to enter the airport at Camp Sullivan."
It provided directions to help people find that entrance.
"Please note that gates may change frequently and that we will provide updates as necessary."
Then, a warning in all caps: "THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT ENSURE SAFE PASSAGE TO THE HAMID KARZAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT."
– with Sam Clench