War in Afghanistan


Afghanistan, Asia

Even though Afghanistan has been in a state of conflict since 1978, the events following the U.S invasion of Afghanistan in September 2001 will primarily be focused on. The U.S invasion of Afghanistan was justified following the 9/11 attacks, where the U.S believed Bin Laden was to blame – the Taliban refused to hand him over. Following the U.S invasion, Bin Laden was killed in 2011, however, U.S and British troops remain to stabilise the country over the growing threat of terrorism.

The resurgence of the Taliban in 2015 has necessitated continued military involvement. Afghan civilians have been primarily affected by this invasion; however, U.S. armed forces have also lost their lives in this crisis. The long-lasting conflict has limited access to services such as healthcare and education and left many in fear of persecution. The United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and Australia provided initial support for the U.S invasion. These countries continued to provide support and troops throughout the war. Canada and the United Kingdom troops left Afghanistan in 2014.

The United Nations has been pivotal in the provision of aid and intervention and has acted in many capacities. In 2002, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was requested by the Afghan government, which was aimed to promote sustainable peace and development. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have also provided aid to Afghan citizens. In February 2020, the U.S and the Taliban signed a significant peace agreement which has saw U.S troops leave the country.

In many parts of the world, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan, terrorism, war and conflict stop children to go to their schools. We are really tired of these wars. Women and children are suffering.

Malala Yousafzai, Activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient

Key Facts

173,000

People killed

More Than 700,000

Injured Civilians

2.5 Million

Refugees

Total population of Afghanistan: 34.6 million

Casualties of Civilians: Over 100,000 (Since 2010)

Displaced people: 1.79 million

Injured: 183,000

Bombs Dropped: U.S. air force dropped a record 7,423 bombs on Afghanistan

The Key Actors

The Situation

Classification:

  • Armed conflict

Adviser’s suggestions:

  • Coming soon
  •  

Similar Crises:

  • Coming soon

Worsening

The situation is getting worse in Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power and the U.S. withdrew their troops after 20 years of war. The population of approximately 39 million are at risk of starvation due to food scarcities and a falling economy that is leading to extreme poverty.

Timeline of the crisis

The United Nations Security Council implemented the Resolution 1267 in October 1999. This created the al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee, that linked the two groups as terrorist entities. This also imposed sanctions on their funding, travel and arms shipments.

The commander of the Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Massoud, was assassinated by al-Qaeda. The Northern Alliance was an anti-Taliban coalition and experts believe this enabled Osama bin Laden’s protection post 9/11.

Al-Qaeda terrorists hijack four planes in the United States of America. Two crash into the World Trade Centers, one into the Pentagon, and one in a field, resulting in 2996 deaths. In response, President George Bush declares America will ‘win the war against terrorism’ and calls for the Taliban to extradite Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who resides in Afghanistan. The Taliban refuse, demanding evidence of wrongdoing. This is perceived by the U.S. as a delaying tactic.

President Bush signs the Authorization for Use of Military Force. The resolution permits the use of military force against those responsible for carrying out the 9/11 attacks, and will come to be a legal justification for an imminent U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

The U.S. military, with British support, officially begin Operation Enduring Freedom with the bombing of Taliban forces. Canada, Germany and Australia promise future support.

Several significant Taliban occupancies fall to U.S. and Northern Alliance coalition, including Taloqan, Bamiyan, Herat, Kabul and Jalalabad.

The United Nations invites prominent Afghan factions, including the Northern Alliance and groups led by the former king, to convene in Bonn, Germany. The Taliban are not invited. The Bonn Agreement is signed, appointing Hamid Karzai as interim administrative head of Afghanistan.

The Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan officially ends. The Taliban surrender Kandahar – the second largest Afghan city – and leader Mullah Omar flees. Despite this, Al-Qaeda leaders remain in the mountains.

After a two-week battle between Afghan forces and Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden escapes.

UN Security Council Resolution 1386 adopted. This establishes the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to promote safety and security in Kabul.

U.S., Canadian and Afghan forces begin ‘Operation Anaconda’. The operation targets remaining Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the eastern Paktia province. The assault includes approximately 2000 U.S. forces fighting 1000 Taliban fighters.

President George W. Bush announced the reconstruction of Afghanistan in a speech at the Virginia Military Institute. He stated that “By helping to build an Afghanistan that is free from this evil and is a better place in which to live, we are working in the best traditions of George Marshall,” Bush believed that evoking the post-World War II Marshall Plan would revive Western Europe. But the United States and the international community did not come close to Marshall Plan-like reconstruction spending for Afghanistan. The U.S. Congress appropriates over $38 billion in humanitarian and reconstruction support between 2001 to 2009.

The U.S. military created a civil affairs framework to coordinate redevelopment with UN and nongovernmental organizations to expand the authority of the Kabul government. These so-called provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs) are stood up first in Gardez in November, followed by Bamiyan, Kunduz, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar, and Herat. Command for individual PRTs is eventually handed over to NATO states. While credited with improving security for aid agencies, the model is not universally praised. Concern mounts that the PRT system lacks central controlling authority and is disorganized. Such criticism grows beyond the PRT program and becomes a common theme in the NATO war effort.

During a briefing with reporters in Kabul, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, declares an end to “major combat.” The announcement coincides with President George W. Bush’s “mission accomplished” declaration of an end to fighting in Iraq.

NATO takes control of the ISAF. Although ISAF was initially purposed with securing Kabul, it expands in the coming years.

British soldier killed in suspected suicide attack. The attack marks a distinct rise in suicide bombings by Taliban fighters; in 2005 there would be 21 and in 2006, 141. The use of improvised explosive devices also significantly increases.

Hamid Karzai is democratically elected as the President of Afghanistan.  

Presidents Karzai and Bush announce each other as strategic partners. The U.S. is given access to Afghan military facilities, and Afghan troops are to be trained and equipped by the U.S. The announcement solidifies U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

Operation Mountain Thrust begins, led by a force of approximately 11,000 troops from the Afghan National Army and NATO members. The operation aims to target Taliban insurgency in southern Afghanistan. The assault concluded July 31 2006, where the Coalition claimed victory and the Taliban retreated. Combined causalities from the assault exceeded 1,200.

ISAF assumes command of South Afghanistan in response to increasingly frequent and violent attacks by the Taliban.

ISAF assumes command of East Afghanistan, resulting in a number of greater troops in Afghanistan, and a greater number involved in combat.

Signalling the persistent challenges facing the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden releases a videotaped message. This took place three weeks after the country’s presidential election with the goal of receiving worldwide media coverage. This was aired on Al Jazeera, showing bin Laden taunting the Bush administration. Bin Laden also takes responsibility for the attacks of September 11, 2001.

A notorious Taliban military commander, Mullah Dadullah, is killed in a joint operation by Afghan, U.S., and NATO forces in south Afghanistan. Dadullah is believed to have been a leader of guerrilla forces in the war in Helmand Province, deploying suicide bombers and ordering the kidnapping of Westerners.

 Polish troops shell the village of Nangar Khel in the Paktika Province of southeastern Afghanistan after a targeted ambush by insurgents damages their vehicle. The attack results in the deaths of eight civilians, including an infant and pregnant woman. Seven soldiers are initially charged with war crimes due to accounts stating that they fired without provocation. The charges are later cleared in 2011.

Taliban insurgents attack Kandahar prison with cars filled with explosives and suicide bombers. The attack frees many prisoners, including Taliban fighters. Whilst some reports stated that approximately 150 to 200 prisoners remained incarcerated, other accounts noted that all 1,170 prisoners escaped.

Approximately 200 Taliban fighters attack U.S. soldiers in the Waygal district of eastern Afghanistan’s Nuristan Province in the Battle of Wanat. The offensive, led by the Taliban, surrounded the U.S. base near Quam, destroyed heavy munitions and entered the main base. As a result, 9 U.S. soldiers were killed, and a further 27 wounded. According to U.S. reports, between 25 and 65 Taliban fighters were killed, and 45 wounded. Whilst the battle is considered a U.S. victory for their ability to repel insurgents, it is considered a tactical victory for the Taliban.

Operation Eagle’s Summit begins, aiming to transport a turbine through Taliban-controlled territory to the Kajaki Dam in the Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan. The turbine would provide electricity and irrigation to the Helmand and Kandahar provinces. The operation concluded on September 5 2008 with the Coalition victory. One Canadian solider died during the operation, whilst NATO reports 200 Taliban troops were killed.

Helicopters, believed to be manned by U.S. forces, attack houses near a militant stronghold in Pakistan. Reports state that many of those killed were civilians. In retaliation, Pakistan declares a disconnection of supply lines for NATO.

Newly elected U.S. President Barack Obama establishes his strong support for involvement in Afghanistan, declaring 17,000 more troops are to be sent to Afghanistan. Currently, the U.S. has 37,000 troops stationed there.

President Obama announces new policy which aims to stabilise Pakistan and provide 4000 more troops to train Afghan security forces.

As part of the Kunduz Province Campaign, NATO forces launch an air-raid on Taliban fighters who had hijacked civilian supply trucks. The raids killed approximately 179 people, of which 100 were civilians.

President Karzai wins second term as President amid controversy. Issues of legitimacy and corruption cast doubt upon the ability of Afghan government institutions and security forces to work independently.

President Obama commits a further 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.

President Karzai organised Afghanistan’s National Consultative Peace Jirga (NCPJ). The three-day meeting aimed to discuss plans to end the Afghan civil-war and current conflict. Whilst the NCPJ was undermined by the Taliban’s rejection of the event, it marked a step in a positive direction.

NATO summit in Lisbon decides to relinquish control of security and hand over to Afghan forces by the end of 2014. The decision emphasises NATO’s shifted agenda that aims to slowly distance itself from the conflict.

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by U.S. forces in Operation Neptune Spear. As the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was provoked by the Taliban’s refusal to extradite Osama Bin Laden (considered the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks) over his responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, his death is highly significant for U.S. forces, and marks the culmination of a ten-year search.

President Obama announces plans to withdraw 30,000 troops. Other NATO members would follow suit.

The Kandahar massacre, or Panjwai massacre, occurs, when U.S. Army Sergeant Robert Bales murders sixteen civilians and injures a further six. Nine of his victims were children. The massacre further damages relations between U.S. troops and Afghan civilians which were already strained by the burning of the Quran by U.S. soldiers in February, and resentment owing to civilian deaths.

Afghan security forces assume control of all security responsibilities.

Pakistan Armed Forces launch Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, Pakistan, along the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border. The offensive targeted Islamic militant groups, and resulted in their movement to Afghanistan. This subsequently boosted Taliban ranks, and enabled a Taliban resurgence that would begin in earnest in 2015.

President Obama announces the withdrawal of the majority of U.S. troops by 2016.

The Chairman of Afghanistan’s interim administration, Hamid Karzai, was chosen to lead the national transitional government. Karzai served as Chairman since December 2001 and was selected during a time of great instability for the country.

NATO officially ended all combat operations in Afghanistan. Whilst some troops would remain in support of Afghanistan’s security and stability, they would not act in non-combat roles.

NATO launches ‘Resolute Support’, in which troops act in an advisory capacity to Afghan security forces.

ISIL forms ISIL-KP, appointing former Taliban militants Hafiz Saeed Khan and Abdul Rauf Aliza as leader and deputy leader respectively.

A Taliban car bomb is detonated outside the National Assembly in Kabul. The Kabul Parliament is subsequently attacked, with Taliban fighters entering the building. A car is also exploded in front of parliament gates. Whilst no MPs were wounded and the Taliban fighters killed, it is reported that women and children were killed in the attack.

Pakistan hosts informal peace talks between Afghan officials and the Taliban. Although no agreement comes to fruition, both parties agree to continue talks later.

U.S. air raid bombs a Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) hospital in North Afghanistan, killing 42 people. Among the causalities are 14 MSF (Doctors Without Borders) members, and 24 patients.

President Obama declares that some 9,000 troops will remain in Afghanistan, despite earlier statements that only 1,000 would remain.

A draft peace agreement is signed between the Afghan government and Hezb-e-Islami, a former ally of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

U.S. military deploys largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat. The bomb targets ISIL fighters in eastern Afghanistan, and a system of tunnels and caves. 96 ISIL fighters are killed.

Senior U.S. military commanders, altered the course from the Bush administration by calling on NATO nations to supply non-military assets to Afghanistan. Officials stress the need for NATO members to step up in building Afghan civil society, such as providing resources for provincial reconstruction teams, or PRTs. A two-day NATO summit in early April ends with a promise by NATO nations to send an additional five thousand troops to train the Afghan army and police force, and to provide security for the country’s August presidential election.

Afghan and UN investigations find that errant fire from a U.S. gunship killed dozens of Afghan civilians in the Shindand District of western Herat Province. U.S. military officials dispute the death toll in this incident as well as claims that a separate incident in Farah Province left as many as 140 civilians dead. After being named top U.S. commander in Afghanistan in mid-2009, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal orders an overhaul of U.S. air strike procedures. He stated “We must avoid the trap of winning tactical victories, but suffering strategic defeats, by causing civilian casualties or excessive damage and thus alienating the people,”

Taliban fighters attack Camp Shaheen, a base for the Afghan National Army, near Mazar-i-Sharif in the Balkh Province. Whilst the Afghan government stated that 140 people were killed, and 160 injured, some media reports suggested that this number could have been as high as 250.

Taliban announce the beginning of ‘Operation Mansouri’. Following this, the Taliban secure the Waghaz District in May. Attacks on the Shah Wali Kot district of the Kandahar province, Shorabak district and Maiwand district also occur, resulting in heavy losses for the Afghan army.

The German embassy in Kabul is attacked by a suicide truck. The attack kills 90 people, and injures a further 350.

U.S. President Donald Trump announces his support for the Afghan war, and indicated he would expand U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

800 US soldiers arrive in Afghanistan as part of an Army training brigade to advise Afghan forces.

An ISIL-claimed attack kills nine civilians and injures eighteen in Kabul. Elsewhere, in the Takhar province of north-eastern Afghanistan, Taliban fighters kill ten Afghan army soldiers and six police.

Afghan Air Force said to have conducted airstrike on a religious school in the Kunduz province, leaving 59 dead. Most of the victims were children, according to security forces.

63 people were killed in bomb attack on voter registration centres in
Kabul and Baghan province. The Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant claims responsibility for the Kabul attack (no group has claimed responsibility for the Baghan attack).

Twin blasts in Kabul kill at least 36 people. Including nine journalists
who had arrived to report on the first explosion and were apparently targeted by a suicide bomber.

A three-day ceasefire between the Taliban and government forces is successfully observed in Kabul, coinciding with the end of Ramadan. This is the first ceasefire of the conflict and is recognized as a great step towards peace.

Taliban attacks on Takhar checkpoints leave 14 border police officers dead, and 6 others missing. In the eastern Logar province, 11 people were killed in two Taliban attacks.

Taliban soldiers take over two districts in the southeastern province of Paktika, forcing Afghan security forces to leave behind large quantities of arms and equipment.

Afghanistan’s national security adviser resigns. He is replaced by Hamdullah Mohib, the Afghan Ambassador to the US.

Two suicide bombs detonate in a Shi’ite neighborhood of Kabul, killing at least 20 people and wounding 70 more. The attack is claimed the next day by the Islamic State.

UN reports that civilian deaths in Afghanistan remain at extreme levels, the highest since 2014.

U.S. Marines launch a major offensive in southern Afghanistan, representing a major test for the U.S. military’s new counterinsurgency strategy. The offensive, involving four thousand Marines, is launched in response to a growing Taliban insurgency in the country’s southern provinces, especially Helmand Province. The operation focuses on restoring government services, bolstering local police forces, and protecting civilians from Taliban incursion. By August 2009 U.S. forces make up between sixty thousand and sixty-eight thousand.

The U.S. war in Afghanistan marks its tenth anniversary, with about hundred thousand U.S. troops deployed in a counterinsurgency role, primarily in southern and eastern regions. President Barack Obama plans to withdraw all combat troops by 2014, but serious doubts remain about the Afghan government’s capacity to secure the country. Amid a resilient insurgency, U.S. goals in Afghanistan remain uncertain and terrorist safe havens in Pakistan continue to undermine U.S. efforts. A decade in, the war’s tolls include 1,800 U.S. troop casualties and $444 billion in spending. The costs have eroded U.S. public support, with a global economic downturn. This includes a 9.1 percent unemployment rate, and a $1.3 trillion annual budget deficit. While there are military gains, hopes for a deal with the Taliban to help wind down the conflict remain riddled with setbacks. President Karzai suspends the talks following the September 20 assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the government’s chief negotiator.

Ten years after the first international conference that discussed Afghanistan’s political future, dozens of countries and organizations meet again in Bonn, Germany. The goal was to devise a roadmap of cooperation beyond the international troop withdrawal in 2014. Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the country will require $10 billion annually over the next decade to shore up security and reconstruction, and commits to tackling corruption in exchange for continued international assistance. The conference failed to achieve its objectives to create a blueprint for Afghanistan’s transition to a self-sustaining and secure government. Pakistan, a crucial player, refuses to attend.

The United States drops its most powerful non-nuclear bomb on suspected Islamic State militants at a cave complex in the eastern Nangarhar Province. The weapon, known colloquially as “the mother of all bombs,” comes as newly elected President Donald J. Trump delegates decision-making authorities to commanders, including the possibility of adding several thousand U.S. troops to the nearly nine thousand already deployed there. There are also approximately 9,000 U.S. contractors in Afghanistan. The bombing casts a spotlight on the emergence of the Islamic State in Afghanistan. At the same time, the Taliban appears to be as strong as ever, and the U.S. military describes the war as a stalemate. Kabul experiences suicide bombings on a scale never before seen, while the Taliban control or contest more than a third of the country. U.S. Marines are once again dispatched to the Helmand Province.

The Taliban carry out a series of bold terror attacks in Kabul that kill more than 115 people amid a broader upsurge in violence. The attacks come as the Trump administration implements its Afghanistan plan, deploying troops across rural Afghanistan to advise Afghan brigades and launching air strikes against opium labs to try to decimate the Taliban’s finances. The administration also cuts off security assistance worth billions of dollars to Pakistan for what President Trump called its “lies and deceit” in harboring Taliban militants. Critics of the National Unity Government say domestic politics—notably a showdown with a provincial governor—have distracted President Ghani from security.

Negotiations between America and the Taliban in Doha entered their highest level yet, building on momentum from 2018. The talks between U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and top Taliban official Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar center on the United States withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan in exchange for the Taliban pledging to block international terrorist groups from operating on Afghan soil. The ramped-up diplomacy follows signals that President Trump plans to pull out seven thousand troops, about half the total U.S. deployment. Khalilzad says the United States will insist that the Taliban agree to participate in an intra-Afghan dialogue on the country’s political structure, as well as a cease-fire. It is unclear whether Trump will condition the troop withdrawal on those terms.

President Trump immediately declines the peace talks a week after leading U.S. negotiator Khalilzad declared that a settlement had been achieved “in principle” with Taliban advisers. In a tweet, Trump said he abandoned a secret meeting with the Taliban and Afghan President at Camp David following the murder of an American soldier in a Taliban attack. The Taliban says it is “committed to continuing negotiations,” but advises that the cancellation will cause an escalation in the amount of fatalities.

The United States diplomat Khalilzad and the Taliban’s Baradar signed a contract that will begin the substantial withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. In relation to this, the Taliban have agreed that the country will cease all terrorist activities to create a stable future. The conditions of the contract states intra-Afghan discussions shortly after. However, but Afghan President Ghani says the Taliban must meet his government’s own conditions before it joins negotiations.

Regardless of the negotiation for peace, the U.S. and the Taliban deal did not cause an immediate cease-fire. In fact, a few days after the contract was signed, the Taliban armed forces conducted dozens of raids on Afghan security forces. The U.S. armed forces retaliated with an air strike against the Taliban in the southern province of Helmand. This raised concerns that the U.S. are leaving their Afghan allies susceptible to an insurgency as the Taliban have carried out at least 76 attacks across 24 Afghan provinces since Saturday, when they concluded the peace negotiations.

The Taliban attacks caused significant uncertainty for the future of Afghans and the retrieval of the U.S. armed forced. Trump stipulated “We’ve agreed there’s no violence. We don’t want violence,”. The U.S. expectations have remained the same and further unrest in the region have negatively impacted that. Afghan officers have long been afraid that, without a compulsory cease-fire, the United States’ willingness to leave Afghanistan might make them exposed in future talks with the Taliban.

After almost two decades of war, representatives from both the Afghan administration and the Taliban met personally in Doha, Qatar. The immediate negotiations were postponed for months due to a prisoner swap which was planned in the previous U.S.-Taliban agreement, started after the Afghan government finalized the release of five thousand Taliban inmates. Throughout introductory comments, both sides articulated willingness to bring harmony to Afghanistan and establish a structure for Afghan civilization after U.S. troops pull out. The government pushes for a cease-fire, while the Taliban reiterates that the country should be run through an Islamic system.

One police officer was murdered and another as wounded as the Taliban attacked security outposts in the Tangi Qaraqul and Sof-e-Kariz areas of Kujran District.

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in the Dahna-e-Ghori District resulting in six police offered murdered and five others wounded. Two Humvees of reinforcements were ambushed. One of them was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade and another was blown up by a roadside bomb.

One pro-government militia member was murdered, and two others wounded as the Taliban attacked the centre of Qaisar District. As the Afghan air force was providing support, a security outpost was mistakenly targeted by a gunship helicopter. The militia fighters were not wearing uniforms.

Two soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb which hit a military vehicle in the Band-e-Ziyarat area of Gizab District.

The Taliban killed four police officers and another wounded as the security outpost in the village of Khazak Tegab Robat was attacked. A Humvee was destroyed in the attack and local authorities claimed that two Taliban fighters were also killed.

One police officer was killed and another wounded as the Taliban attacked a security outpost in the Sayed Abad area of Sar-i-Pul city, the provincial capital.

The Taliban unsuccessfully attempted to capture an outpost in the Ghorghori area of Khachrod District. This led to the death of three soldiers and wounding four others. When reinforcements entered, a member of the National Directorate of Security was assassinated.

One civilian was murdered during an attack by the Taliban, three security forces wounded as well as two civilians in the Lakhtonghai village of Kujran District. During the attack, insurgents tried to destroy a bridge that connects the district to the provincial capital. Locals stood alongside the security forces to counter the Taliban attack.

The Taliban attacked the center of Seuri District, killing one soldier and wounding two others. Local officials claimed that seventeen Taliban fighters were killed in the battle. Afghan forces engaged with the Taliban when they noticed insurgents digging a tunnel into a military base.

A Taliban sniper murdered a border soldier while he was on duty in a security outpost in the Pul-e-Khishti village of Imam Sahib District.

A woman and two children were killed as a mortar fired during clashes between security forces and the Taliban landed on a house in the village of Taraki-ha in Moqor District. Clashes erupted after a military convoy was ambushed.

One soldier was murdered, and two others wounded as the Taliban attacked a security outpost in the Joy Bigum village of Imam Sahib district.

A total of four soldiers were murdered and three others were wounded as the Taliban attacked a security outpost in the Bakhshaka village of Raghistan District; where fighting continued for two hours.

Five pro-government militia members were murdered by the Taliban in the village of Ahmad Abad in the Kohsan District. The rebels seized the rifles of the five murdered members, as well their vehicle.

An incident took place due to a mine explosion inside a house in the Nassaji area of the Second Police District in Pul-i-Khumri. This resulted in one civilian casualty and the police launched an investigation into the explosion.

In the Second Police District of Farah city, the provincial capital, an anonymous of gunmen opened fire on police officers. Two civilians and one police officer were murdered. The attackers managed to escape from the area after the attack and were not caught by authorities.

A Taliban infiltrator in Belcheragh District, murdered a member of the territorial army and joined the Taliban.

In the Seventh Police District of Kabul city, the capital, a police officer was shot and killed by unknown gunmen.

Three police officers were murdered whilst four others were wounded by the explosion as the Taliban attacked Arghistan District’s police headquarters. This occurred due to a tractor laden with explosives, followed by gunmen entering the headquarters.

In the Fifth Police District of Gardez, a prosecutor was shot and killed by unknown gunmen.

An insider attack took place in a security outpost in the Nahr-e-Siraj area of Greshk District. This resulted in eleven police officers, including the police chief of Sangin District, killed. Three Taliban infiltrators stole all the military gear and joined the insurgency.

In the Bagh-e-Dawood area of Paghman District, an Afghan air force officer was gunned down.

While traveling using public transport, an employee of the National Directorate of Security was murdered in the village of Du Aab in the Farsi District.

Two civilians are murdered when two motor shells fired by Afghan officers target a house in Munara, within the Arghandab District.

A pregnant woman and her husband were wounded by an unknown gunman as they were going to hospital in Kandahar city’s Seventh Police District. The woman died of her wounds in the hospital, but the baby was rescued through an operation.

The Taliban targeted the centre of Dasht-e-Qala District, murdering one civilian and injuring another in the three hours of warfare.

For no known reason, the Taliban shot and killed a civilian in the Kohi village of Qaisar District.

Approximately 17 civilians were killed within the Saberi District during a military operation by Khost Protection Forces. The extent of the massacre also resulted in 5 Taliban fighters murdered as well as homes, shops, and a mosque. The death of civilians was distributed online through social media, this included a photograph of dead bodies. The governor of Khost publicly denied that any civilians were killed. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has also launched an investigation into these murders

In the the Kambo area of Khogyani District, the Taliban murdered five pro-government militia members and wounded three others. This took place as the Taliban attacked a security outpost.

As Afghan forces were protecting a dam in the area, the Taliban attacked two security outposts in the Dahan Dara area of Pashton Kot District. This resulted in killing two members of the public protection forces and wounding another.

In the village of Awlad-e-Ata-Mohammad of Dawlat Yar District, one police officer was murdered, and three others were wounded. This occurred because a Humvee hit a roadside bomb.

A provincial council member, Sardar Khan Malangzoi, was wounded by an unknown gunman in the Second Police District of Gardiz, the provincial capital. He later died of his wounds in the hospital. The two policemen who were protecting him also got injured in the attack.

The Taliban attacked a patrol of Afghan forces in the Dara-e-Afghania area of Nijrab District. This resulted in the murder of three soldiers and one soldier getting held captive. Rebels seized the weapons and equipment of the soldiers.

The former police chief of Dand District was wounded and two soldiers as well as one civilian were killed by unknown gunmen. In both cases, the assailants managed to flee. The two different incidents took place in the Fourth Police District of Kandahar City, the provincial capital.

Two soldiers were murdered by unknown gunmen who managed to flee the scene. These attacks took place within the 5th and 12th Police Districts in Kandahar City.

Two different incidents took place where three women vaccinators were killed by unknown gunmen. The murders took place in the Fourth and Seventh Police Districts of Jalalabad City, the provincial capital.

Unknown Gunmen managed to escape after killing a civilian in the Dawoodzai village. The gunmen were never held accountable for their actions.

A police checkpoint was ignored by two men on a motorcycle which resulted in them being shot by Afghan security forces. This took place in Jangi Karez area in the outskirts of Tarin Kot, the provincial capital. An investigation took place and those accountable for the assassination were arrested.

Five civilians were murdered when a roadside bomb explosion took place in the Tajikan village of the Chahar Asyab District.

The Taliban targeted the centre of Qaisar District, murdering a police officer.

The Taliban started attacking a taxi in the Rabat area in the Fourth Police District of Gardez, the provincial capital. This resulted in the murder of one police officer and two civilians.

The headquarters of the National Directorate of Security was targeted by multiple attackers who executed a car bombing. Security forces became the target of the violence resulting in four N.D.S members were murdered, and an additional three members were wounded in the bombing.

Two unknown gunmen assassinated a tribal elder in the center of the Ishkamish District. These gunmen successfully escaped and were not charged for the murder.

In the provincial capital, a magnetic bomb exploded in the Third Police District of Taloqan. Three civilians were wounded and the head of the council, Mavlawi Abdul Samad was assassinated.

In the Bandar-e-Koluft area of Balkh District, two civilians were assassinated, and 13 others were wounded in an explosion.

The chief of staff of the Second Border Regiment, colonel Fraidoon Fayaz was ambushed by the Taliban. The colonel was assassinated, and his bodyguard was severely wounded in Pul-e-Alam.

A Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb in Do Aaba in the Sayyad District. This is resulted in killing two army soldiers and two others were also wounded in the bombing.

The Taliban assassinated a National Directorate of Security official as well as a civilian in the Mullahkhil village of the Hesa Duwum Kohistan District.

A police officer was murdered by two anonymous gunmen in the Third Police District of Jalalabad. This is located within the provincial capital of Nangarhar. The murder resulted in two suspects getting arrested.

Violence arose within the Kamar Kalagh village of the Injil District. This involved the death of two police officers who were murdered in a roadside bomb explosion. An additional two officers were also badly wounded in this incident.

 

A vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the Sarkar area which killed six civilians. The attack happened in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah.

Violence arose in the Gulsalk area of Chapa Dara District when the Taliban attacked two security outposts, killing four soldiers and taking four as prisoner. One security post was burned and a Humvee was bombed. Two soldiers remain missing.

A roadside bomb in Qargha area of Paghman District killed one soldier and injured three others when the army truck hit the bomb. In Paghman on the same day, the Taliban used a car bomb to attack a military convoy near the Chenar area. The act killed three security force staff and wounded 12 others.

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in a village in Adraskan District which resulted in the death of a police officer. The group also took three officers as prisoners.

A military truck was hit by a roadside bomb in Sabz Sang area of Qarabagh District. This involved the killing of a security officer who was a member of the territorial army. The blast also injured four other members.

Violence arose in the Herat Province when the Taliban attacked a security post in the village of Jou-e-Qazi of Shindand District. The fighting went on for several hours resulting in the death of four soldiers. Six soldiers were taken as prisoners after the battle. On the same day, the Taliban also attacked a military base near Lashkar Gah in the Helmand Province killing 10 soldiers and taking 12 other prisoners. The insurgents seized all weaponry and captured the base camp.

A car bomb was used to target a police outpost in Nawa District of the Helmand Province which involved the killing of eight officers leaving twelve wounded.

Taliban killed four police officers in an attack on a security outpost in Surkh Rod District of Nangarhar province. Nine of the Taliban fighters were also killed in the clash. In the provincial capital of Badghis, a soldier was shot and killed by the Taliban. Furthermore, in Kundunz province, four police officers lost their lives during an insurgent attack that took place in the Fifth Police District of Kunduz city. Many officers were taken as prisoners.

In the highway connecting Kandahar to Kabul, a passenger bus was hit by a roadside bomb which resulted in the death of four civilians. On the same day, another such bomb also killed one civilian in the centre of Panjwai District.

Deadliest violence took place in the Wardak Province during a military operation which involved the killing of five commandos and nine police officers. The battle between the Taliban and the Afghan security forces took place near a highway in Jalrez district. Eight security forces were also wounded in the same and four Humvees were destroyed. Furthermore, in Zabul Province, a Taliban attack on a military base using a car bomb killed ten soldiers. The fighting went on for several hours in the Chino area of Shajoe district. Similar attacks during the week across provinces killed seventy-five Afghan forces and seven civilians in total.

An attack at the centre of Mordian District at the Jowzjan Province resulted in several hours of fighting. The clash killed a police officer and two-pro government militia members.

In Takhar Province, one pro-government militia killed his three colleagues in a military outpost at the centre of Dasht-e-Qala. He joined the Taliban after seizing all the weapons and equipment from the outpost.

In an insider attack, three police officers were killed in their sleep in the village of Sanjidak at Moqor District in Badghis Province.

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in Taliqan of Takhar Province, killing four Aghan militia members. The same day in Baghlan Province, Taliban seized another security outpost which involved the death of six members of the territorial army. Both the attacks left many officers injured.

In a Taliban ambush of a village in the Firoz Koh area of Ghor Province, two pro-government militia were killed. The members were on their way to a security outpost when the incident happened. On the same day, in Baghlan province, two police officers were killed in a clash between the insurgents and the police forces. Local officials claimed that six insurgents were also killed during the same attack.

The Taliban attacked one of the areas in the Baghlan-e-Markazi district which led to the demise of two police officers. The battle also wounded 6 others. The local authorities claimed that the police officers killed around six insurgents.

An explosion of a civil war-era mortar resulted in the killing of two children in a house in Bahar area of Khogyani district. The incident left one child injured.

Taliban attacks in the provinces of Faryab, Badakshshan and Bagdhis took the lives of twelve police officers in total. The attacks happened in the police outposts with the insurgents seizing all the weapons and equipment.

A rocket fired from an Afghan air force helicopter took the life of one civilian, injuring three others when it fell in a house in the Esky Village of Imam Sahib district.

In a car bomb targeted at the entrance of the logistics department of the National Directorate of Security of Kabul City resulted in the death of one NDS member and one civilian. Around six security forces and one civilian sustained injuries during the blast.

While on the road, two civil servants and two civilians were killed by the Taliban in a village in Dawalatyar district. All those who were killed were of the Hazara ethnicity.

Five Police Officers in Wardak Province surrendered to the Taliban after an attack. The Taliban however still beheaded all the officers and looted the outpost.

In an attack in a large military base in Sharsharak area of Balkh district , Taliban killed eight soldiers, taking three prisoner and wounding two others. The insurgents seized all the equipment and detroyed two Humvees.

A doctor and his son were killed during a military operation carried by the N.D.S in Safid Sang area, in Muhammad Agha district.

A Taliban drone targeted a security outpost in the Chasma-e-Bangi area of Bangi district which resulted in the death of seven pro-government militia members.

A university professor was assassinated by an unknown gunman in the district of Kabul city. On the same day, a van was blown up bu the Taliban in the Andhar district of Ghazni Province which killed four civilians and injured two others.

In the village of Kamar Kalagh in Injil district, bodies of a police commander and two civilians, including a woman were discovered. The intention behind the killings was not clear.

One civil servant was assassinated by an unknown gunman in the Qala-e-Ahmad area of Paghman District in Kabul Province. On the same day, in a roadside bomb, four civilians were killed in Herat Province. Five security soldiers were also injured during the hit.

In an Afghan air force airstrike in the Darawolang village of Jalrez district, seven civilians were killed. Amongst them there were two children.

A roadside bomb hit in the centre of Shindad district left fve commandos killed with three soldiers injured.

A roadside bomb explosion in the Chergo area of Qarabagh district killed a child.

A crossfire during a Taliban attack on a police outpost killed a woman and left four other injured. The incident took place in the centre of  Obeh district.

In an attack on security at the centre of Qaisar district, a police officer was killed. The attack also resulted in the death of three Taliban fights and wounded another police officer. On the same day in Kabul Province, a Taliban ambush killed one NDS member, wounding two others.

Unknown gunmen attacked a gathering in Lalpur district which resulted in the death of five civilians and wounded three others.

A Taliban drone targeted a border army outpost in the Ay Khanom part in Dasht-e-Qala district on the border of Tajikistan which killed three soldiers and wounded two others.

During a Taliban attack at a governor’s office in Baraki Barak district where fighting went on for hours, four soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded. It is claimed that five Taliban fighters were also killed.

A road side bomb blew up the vehicle of a pro-government militia which resulted in the death of the personnel. The incident took place in the Naw Abad Village of Qosh Tepa district.

A civilian was killed by an unknown gunman in the provincial capital of Faryab province. The man was a former member of the pro government militia.

In the entrance of Imam Sahib district, a Taliban marksman was shot and killed by a police officer.

In a gruesome attack, the Taliban opened fire on a group of civilians leaving the mosque after evening prayer in the Walyan valley of Khinjan district which resulted in the death of seven of those civilians. The police forces responded to the attack which killed two Taliban fighters and wounded three others.

The Taliban launched a major attack in the Helmund Province on the Afghan forces. They also attacked at least six other provinces.

The Taliban capture Nerkh district just outside the capital Kabul as violence intensifies across the country.

Afghan senior officials reported that around 150 Afghan soldiers were killed in a 24-hour long battle with Taliban fighters. It was also reported that the fighting is raging in 26 of the country’s 34 provinces.

On 16 June, Taliban militants executed 22 surrendering Afghan Army commandos in the town of Dawlat Abad. Among the dead was Major Sohrab Azimi, son of retired General Zahir Azimi. He was posthumously promoted to brigadier general

President Ashraf Ghani replaced the Afghan national army chief of staff, defence minister and the interior minister.

The Taliban captured the Sher Khan Bandar, Afghanistan’s main Tajikistan border crossing and around 11 districts were captured within twenty-four hours. On the same day, heavy fighting broke out in Baghlan province, which killed seventeen Taliban militants including Qari Khalid, a Taliban divisional commander. The very day, Taliban forces took control of Balkh and encircled Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh Province.

Inside Pul-e-Khumri, Taliban and Afghan forces clashed in a battle that lasted for hours

The Taliban took control of the Shinwari District and the Ghorband District in Parwan Province, north of Kabul. That same day NBC News reported that the Taliban “were surprised at the speed of their advance and had avoided capturing some targets so as not to run afoul of the US”, and the Afghan government launched a program called National Mobilization that aimed to arm militia groups to fight the Taliban.

On 27 June, Chaki Wardak District and Saydabad District fell to the Taliban after at least 50 Afghan troops surrendered and were captured by the Taliban. On the same day Rustaq DistrictShortepa District and the Arghistan District fell to the Taliban.

Violent clashes took place in the city when the Taliban launched an attack on Ghazni

American troops quietly pulled out of their main military base in Afghanistan – Bagram Air Base, an hour’s drive from Kabul. It effectively ended U.S. involvement in the war. Germany and Italy also withdrew their forces from the country.

Hundreds of armed women took to the streets of northern and central Afghanistan in protests against the Taliban regime. The provincial governor Abdulzahir Faizzada reported in an interview with The Guardian that many Afghan women, some of whom recently escaped the Taliban, have been learning to use firearms in order to defend themselves, with some having already battled the Taliban. Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid denounced the reports as “propaganda” and declared that “women will never pick up guns against us”.

The Taliban captured nine border posts belonging to the Afghan Army in Kunar Province near the border with Pakistan, during which 39 personnel of the Afghan Army surrendered to the Taliban while another 31 fled to Pakistan.

In a meeting, the Taliban mentioned that they could put forward a written peace proposal to the Afghan government as soon as August.

President of Tajikistan announced that the government would be deploying 20,000 troops on the Afghanistan–Tajikistan border, to prevent a spillover of the war into the country.

Pro Government forces stopped a Taliban attempt to capture the city of Qala e Naw.

On 8 July, the Taliban captured the strategically important Karukh District in Herat Province.

The Taliban captured Panjwayi District in Kandahar Province and surrounded the city of Ghazni in central Afghanistan. The insurgents also captured the border crossings of Torghundi with Turkmenistan and Islam Qala with Iran.

The commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan Austin S. Miller stepped down from his post.  As of 12 July, the Taliban had seized 148 districts from the Afghan government.

The Afghan border post at Spin Boldak was captured by the Taliban force. On the same day, Reuters Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui was killed while reporting the fighting.

On 16 July, Uzbekistan hosted a conference between a number of the region’s leaders and foreign diplomats, including Afghan President Ghani, to promote peace and prevent a civil war.

The Pentagon reported that the United States Air Force had carried out four airstrikes in Afghanistan at the request of Afghan officials. Two of the four airstrikes were aimed at destroying military equipment captured by the Taliban from Afghan security forces; one artillery gun and one military vehicle were destroyed.

The battle for Kandahar City continued with the city being besieged by the Taliban. All surrounding districts save for Daman District had fallen under Taliban control, and only Kandahar’s air field (crucial for supplying the local security forces) remained under full government control. According to the FDD’s Long War Journal, the fall of Daman District to the insurgents would make it extremely difficult for the government forces to hold Kandahar city.

Pro-government forces gained victories in Bamyan Province, as local militias and the police retook the districts of Sayghan and Kahmard from the Taliban, and in Herat Province, where the government recaptured Karakh District.

The Government of Afghanistan imposes a curfew between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. in all but three provinces of the country, to “curb violence and reduce the movements and advances of the Taliban”.

Amidst continues Taliban attacks on the Afghan forces, a senior US commander swears that the States would continue to carry out air raids to support the Afghan army.

The United Nations calls the Afghan civilian deaths in 2021, ‘unprecedented’ as around 2,400 Afghan civilians have been killed or injured in May and June as fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces escalated. The number is higher than any year since UN began keeping count in 2009.

A Pakistani army statement claims that around 46 members of the Afghan forces crossed the border near the Pakistani town of Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Five of them were soldiers feeling the Taliban attacks.

China’s foreign minister has met a Taliban delegation, signalling warming ties as the United States-led foreign forces continue their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

As the Taliban surrounds and closes on the Kandahar city, thousands of Afghans are forced to flee to safer places. Thousands of Afghans have been internally displaced since the beginning of the year.

The US Senate passed an emergency bill that would increase the number of visas for allies who worked alongside Americans in the Afghanistan war. To resettle the allies, the bill would allow around 8000 visas and provide $500 dollars.

The US government announced that the first flight evacuating Afghan interpreters and others who worked alongside the United States forces in Afghanistan has landed at Washington Dulles International Airport. The flight carried around 57 children and 15 babies.

PM Imran Khan denies report that Pakistani fighters crossed border into Afghanistan to aid Taliban in its fight against Afghan government.

Afghan forces fought fierce street battles and bombed Taliban positions as the group’s fighters swarmed major cities amid an intensifying nationwide offensive.

As violence escalates in Afghanistan, the US government is widening the scope of Afghans who would be eligible to access refugee status in the country. The administration aims to include current and former employees of US-based media organisations, aid and development agencies and other relief groups that receive US funding.

Afghan military commanders ask the civilians to evacuate the city of Lashkar Gah as Taliban sieges major portions of it. The Afghan prepares a major offensive to out Taliban fighters after three days of heavy fighting.

The capital of Afghanistan, Kabul experiences powerful blasts and gunfire. The incident happened in the heavily fortified ‘Green Zone’ a place that is home to government buildings and foreign embassies.

Talks are held between central Asian nations in Turkmenistan. The war in Afghanistan and the Taliban was the top agenda discussed in the meeting.

Dawa Khan Minapal, a top official of the government is assassinated by the Taliban in Helmund province. Minapal had also served as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman.

The Taliban has captured the city of Zaranj in Afghanistan’s Nimruz province, making it the first provincial capital the group has taken from the Afghan government as it steps up offensives in two other provinces.

The Taliban captures the second provincial capital less than 24 hours after the siege of Zaranj. Sheberghan of Jawjan province fell after ongoing clashes as the government officials took refuge in the city airport.

The Taliban has captured three more provincial capitals as they take their fight to the cities after seizing much of the countryside in recent months.

As per an OCHA report, at least 244,000 people have been internally displaced since May in Afghanistan. The increase is of more than 300 percent since last year.

Several German politicians have asked the government to send the military back to Afghanistan to halt the Taliban offensive. However, the German defence minister vehemently opposed the calls to send the army back to Kunduz province where they were stationed for a decade. Germany lost more troops Kunduz than anywhere else since the second world war.

The Taliban has captured 26 of the 34 provincial capitals in Afghanistan, with more than half of them falling to the armed group in less than two weeks. The insurgents have now reached Kabul.

Russia’s Defence minister talked about Taliban capturing the areas bordering Afghanistan with Tajikistan and Uzbeskistan. According to the ministers, the Taliban leaders promised to not attack the neighbouring countries after taking control of the borderlands.

As the situation deteriorates in Afghanistan, the governments of Germany and Netherlands halts the deportation process for Afghan asylum seekers back to the countries.

Taliban takes on Herat, the third largest city of the country after hours of intense fighting between the insurgents and the government forces. This cuts off a crucial highway linking Kabul with the Southern provinces of Afghanistan.

Taliban seized Jalalabad meeting very little resistance. Kabul now remains last urban centre standing under the control of the Afghan government forces.

President Ashraf Ghani flees the country as Taliban approaches the capital. In a couple of hours, the group takes control of the presidential palace. Donald Trump calls for Joe Biden’s resignation as he claims that the US president was responsible for the complete takeover of Afghanistan by Taliban.

Hundreds of Kabul residents rushed to banks to withdraw money from their accounts, as Taliban fighters entered the city. Afghans rushed to airports to escape the city.

Amidst massive criticism over the pulling out of the US forces from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden talked about his decision saying how there was never a good time to withdraw the forces and that he stands by his decision.

As Taliban captured cities, various female bank employees were asked to leave and not return to work. The incidents raise questions on the future of women rights in the country.

All commercial flights were cancelled after thousands of Afghans tried to flee the country. Gunshots were fired and five people were killed during the escape. As per Reuters witnesses, many Afghans tried to forcibly enter planes. Pictures of children and infants floated the internet as people tried to escape.

The United Kingdom’s defense secretary clarified that the country would not be sending back the army back to the now Taliban controlled Afghanistan. The UK and NATO calls the takeover a ‘failure of the international community’.

The government of UK announces a new scheme that would allow as many as 20,000 Afghan refugees to resettle in the country. The plan would prioritise women and minorities. The scheme aimed at those seen “most at risk of human rights abuses and dehumanising treatment by the Taliban” will offer a safe and legal route to Britain.

More on this Crisis

Featured

Afghanistan: Governance Under The Taliban

​​The Taliban issued a statement pertaining to position designations within their newly formed government this past week, prompting immediate criticism from the international community and

Read More »

Opportunities in the Crisis Index

If you have relevant knowledge of a particular region and are interested in being a Regional Crisis Adviser or Senior Correspondent (Crisis Index), please email our Crisis Index Coordinator at catherine.kreider@theowp.org.

Interested incontributing to the Crisis Index?

We have a team of knowledgeable advisors and senior correspondents responsible for updating and maintaining our Crisis Index pages. For more information on the roles and responsibilities, click the button below.
Click Here