Chronography of Afghanistan
Afghanistan � if not the
graveyard of empires, then at least the hazardous minefield of them.
See also Iran
See also Islam
and Middle East
See also Judaism
US evacuation of Afghanistan, Taleban victory, 2020-21
The Taleban took Jalabad in eastern Afghanistan, effectively surrounding Kabul.
The US evacuated diplomats from its Embassy by helicopter, in scenes
reminiscent of Vietnam 46 years earlier.
The northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif fell to the Taleban, as did
Pul-e-Alam, capital of Logar Perovince and just 70km from Kabul.
The Pentagon said Kabul was �not under immediate threat� from the Taleban.
Herat, Afghanistan., fell to the Taliban.
Zaranj, in southern Afghanistan, became the first provincial capital to fall to
the Taliban. They captured several more such cities in the following days,
The Taleban now controlled around half of Afghanistan�s districts.
The Taliban gained territory in Afgjhanistan as US forces withdrew from the
country. By this day, just 600 US personnel were left in Afghanistan,
protecting the US Embassy in Kabul and the airport, and the Taliban occupied
most of the countryside, poised to occupy the major cities.
The US military quietly shut down the Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan,� and slipped away just before dawn. Before the
Afghan army even realised the US had departed, local people had looted the
The Taleban opened an offensive in northern Afghanistan, far from theor
traditional southern power base.
150 Afghan Government soldiers had been killed in the past 24 hours, as
fighting with the Taleban raged in 26 of the country�s 34 provinces.
Nerkh District, just outside Kabul, fell to the Taleban.
The Taleban launched a major offensive in Afghanistan in southern Helmand
Province, and stepped up military action in 6 other provinces.
14/4/2021, US President
Biden announced that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan would be
completed by 11/11/2021.
3/2021, The US military made last
ditch efforts to persuade US President Biden not to withdraw US forces
The Pentagon announced that the number of US troops in Afghanistan would be
reduced to 25,000.
President Trump negotiated a deal with the Taliban setting a US
withdrawal date of 1/5/2021.
31/5/2017, A powerful car bomb exploded in Kabul, killing 90
and injuring a further 460.
7/12/2011, Kandahar, Afghanistan, surrendered to US forces; the
23/11/2011, Kunduz, Afghanistan, surrendered to US forces
without a fight.
16/11/2011, Fighting between US troops and the Taliban began
14/11/2011, US troops captured Kabul.
11/11/2011, US troops defeated the Taliban at Taloqan.
10/11/2011, US troops defeated the Taliban, Afghanistan, at
19/10/2011, US troops raided Kandahar.
14/5/2011, Pakistan officially condemned the US raid in
Bin Laden was killed.
1/5/2011, The US announced
Bin Laden had been killed in an military operation in Pakistan.
2005, The Taliban regrouped, exploiting
popular resentment at the foreign occupation of the country and slow progress
7/12/2004, In Kabul, Hamid Karzai
was sworn in as President of Afghanistan after winning the elections of
9/10/2004. 18,000 foreign troops remained stationed in the country, much of
which was effectively run by local warlords.
2/4/2003, US forces launched air
attacks on the Taliban and al Qaeda forces in the Tor Ghar ountains,
Afghanistan, close to the Pakistan border.
13/6/2002, The Loya Jirga (Council of
Elders) elected Hamid
Karzai as interim President of Afghanistan.
5/5/2002. Reports from Afghanistan suggested the Taleban were regrouping in mountain
hideouts, waiting for the Afghan government to falter.
22/12/2001, Hamid Karzai
was sworn in as head of the interim government in Afghanistan.
Hamid Karzai administration began
Alliamce gains against the Taleban, 2001
the Taleban leader, surrendered Kandahar; but Osama Bin Laden had still not
Kunduz, last Taleban stronghold in
northern Afghanistan, fell to the Northern Alliance.
The capital of Afghanistan, Kabul,
fell to the Northern Alliance,
captured from the Taleban. Despite American stipulations that a government of
all Afghans should rule, the Alliance seemed in sole control.
Northern Alliance forces now
controlled large areas of northern Afghanistan, including the western town of
Northern Alliance forces fighting
the Taleban in Afghanistan were
reported to have captured the town of Mazar-E-Sharif. This opened up a land
route and airfield to bring in supplies to fight the Taleban on the northern front.
The first daylight raids began by the USA on Afghanistan against the Taliban and Bin Laden�s supporters. This was
America�s �Operation Enduring Freedom�.
US attacks on Afghanistan following the 9-11 Terror Attacks in the USA,
the September 11, 2001 attack on the USA, missile attacks began on Afghanistan, prior to US invasion. President
George Bush announced the start of Operation Enduring Freedom, to root out Al Quaeda.
See USA for more events of 9 � 11 terrorist
17/9/2001. Afghanistan�s Taliban regime was warned it must hand over Osama Bin Laden, the prime
suspect for the 9-11 terrorist attacks in the USA.
15/9/2001, In Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Masoud, leader of the United Islamic Front and opponent of the Taleban, died
from wounds sustained in an assassination attempt.
24/5/2000, Russia threatened airstrikes against the Taleban in Afghanistan in
retaliation for their support for Chechen separatists.
victory, control over Afghanistan, 1989-2001
8/3/2001, In Afghanistan the Taliban
demolished ancient Buddhist statues.
14/11/1999, The UN Security Council
voted to impose sanctions on Afghanistan to force the ruling Taleban to hand
3/8/1998, The Taleban took
Mazar-e-Sharif, the last city outside their control, previously under the
Northeern League (Masoud).
16/6/1998, The Taleban closed down the
last girl�s school in the territory they controlled. This territory expanded in
the next 2 months.
23/2/1998, Osama bin Laden issued a fatwa
from Afghanistan calling for Muslims to kill Americans anywhere, and to
liberate Jerusalem from Westerners.
4/2/1998, A 6.1 magnitude earthquake
hit north-east Afghanistan, killing over 5,000 people.
forces retook the important Bagram air base, consolidating their territory
26/9/1996. The Taleban captured Kabul. They drove
out the former President, Burhanuddin Rabbani and executed Mohammad Najibullah.
The Taliban captured Kandahar,
Afghanistan. See 26/9/1996.
7/9/1992. The first hanging in over 20 years took
place in Afghanistan, with
around 3,000 spectators.
28/7/1992. Afghanistan banned women, even wearing
veils, from being seen on TV.
interim Government formed in Afghanistan, supposedly uniting several resistance
fighter groups. However infighting continued, rendering the government
fell to Mujaheddin forces.
Najibullah of Afghanistan was overthrown. Mujaheddin rebels closed in on Kabul.
Najibullah imposed a State of Emergency to bolster his authority.
Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, 1988-89
last Soviet soldier left Afghanistan, ending 9 years of bitter war against
the Mujaheddin rebels. 120,000
Soviet soldiers marched north along the Salang
Highway, leaving behind much armament. These rebels then marched on Kabul
and Jalabad and threatened President Najibulah. Najibulah imposed martial law as
Mujaheddin rockets fell on Kabul.
offered US$600 million reparations to Afghanistan.
15/5/1988. Soviet troops began leaving Afghanistan. On 15/4/1988 Mr Eduard
Shevardnaze, the Soviet Foreign Minister set the seal on the
Kremlin�s decision to withdraw more than 100,000 Soviet troops in Afghanistan,
after 8 � years of occupation. Some 155,000 troops would be withdrawn by
15/5/1988, and the remainder, as many troops as this again, would go by
15/2/1989. But Washington said it would continue to supply arms to the
Mujaheddin who were fighting the Soviet-backed government in Kabul. During the
Soviet occupation, up to one million Afghans were said to have been killed and
over a third of the population had fled.
the Geneva Agreement, the USSR agreed to withdraw its forces from
in Geneva, signed a peace accord on Afghanistan.
See Russia / Soviet
Union for more events relating to President Gorbachev
8/2/1988, Soviet President Gorbachev announced that Russian troops were to begin
withdrawing from Afghanistan in May 1988.
Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, 1979-86
1986, Muhammad Najibullah replaced Karmal
as Head of Government.
4/5/1986, Babrak Karmal resigned as General Secretary of
of the People�s Democratic (Communist) Party of Afghanistan. He was succeeded
former head of the secret police.
President Gorbachev spoke of the continuing occupation of
Afghanistan as a �bleeding wound�.
1984, The Afghan Army had seen so many defections that
14-year-olds were being forcibly drafted in.
troops died in a fire inside the Salang
Pass road tunnel, Afghanistan.
In Kabul, martial law was imposed after violent anti-Soviet demonstrations.
Conference of 36 nations condemned the Soviet
invasion of Afghanistan.
NATO and the Common Market debated whether to boycott the Moscow Olympics after the USSR had invaded Afghanistan, on 27/12/1979.
14/1/1980, The UN passed a resolution
calling for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.
proclaimed a grain embargo against the USSR, following its invasion of
Afghanistan; the European Commission backed this embargo.
Jimmy Carter told the US Senate not to ratify the SALT (Strategic
Arms Limitation Treaty) with the USSR until Soviet forces withdrew from
President Hafizullah of Afghanistan was deposed and executed in a coup strongly
backed by Soviet� troops. On
Carter described the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as the greatest
threat to world peace since World War Two. Muslim guerrillas were active
against the pro-Soviet regime, and 5,000 Soviet troops were stationed in
Afghanistan. The USSR feared a spread of
Muslim insurgency to the Soviet Union itself.
24/12/1979, Soviet troops began an invasion of Afghanistan.
Soviet bid to control Afghanistan, as counter against
Chinese-oriented Pakistan. Islamic resistance to Soviet influence, 1973-79
US President Jimmy Carter
signed the first secret directive for aid to be given to anti-Communist
opponents of the Kabul government.
27/3/1979, Hafizullah Amin became Prime Minister of Afghanistan.
20/3/1979, After a 5-day popular uprising against the
PDPA in Herat, Afghanistan, the PDPA retook the city by force. Some 20,000
civilians died in the fighting
14/2/1979, In Kabul,
Muslim militants kidnapped the US ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs.
He was killed the following day in a gunfight between the kidnappers and the
5/12/1978. The USSR signed
a 20-year friendship treaty with Afghanistan. See 27/4/1978.
6/5/1978, The UK
recognised the new regime in Afghanistan.
30/4/1978, The Soviet Union
recognised the new regime in Afghanistan.
27/4/1978. A bloody coup overthrew the government of
Afghanistan and replaced it with a pro-Soviet regime. Tanks and Mig-21
fighter planes attacked the Presidential palace in Kabul as Mohammed Daud was overthrown. The president and his family was massacred.
All public meetings were banned and martial law imposed indefinitely.
17/7/1973, Daoud, supported by the Parcham Party,
ousted his cousin King Mohammed Zabiur Shah, who had rued
Afghanistan since 1933. Daoud proclaimed himself President of the new
Republic of Afghanistan. The USSR now attempted to make Afghanistan a dependent
State, as a buffer agaisnbt Pakistan, which had an alliance with China.
1/1965, Elections in Afghanistan; the monarchy retained power. The
Marxist People�s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) was formed and then banned. The
PDPA then split into the Parcham (flag) and Khalq (masses) factions. The Islamic
Society of Afghanistan also began organising.
1964, King Zahir Shah introduced
limited democratic reforms as he made the monarchy more constitutional.
1963, Daud resigned after the King
rejected his proposals for democratic reforms.
24/12/1957, Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, was born.
Afghanistan implemented its first Five Year Plan as the country began to
modernise with Soviet aid. Daud Khan became
in his policies.
1953, Mohammad Daud Khan became Prime
Afghanistan joined the United Nations.
8/7/1937, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and
signed a non-aggression pact in Tehran.
Reforms of Amanullah opposed; throne passed to weak brother Anayutallah,
who was deposed. Civil war. Accession of Nadir Khan 1929-33
8/11/1933, Mohammed Nadir Shah, King of Afghanistan, was assassinated in Kabul. He
was succeeded by his son, Mohammed Zahir Shah.
Muhammad Nadir Khan (1880-1933) returned to Afghanistan from Europe
and defeated Habibullah.
was captured and executed. Nadir Khan was now proclaimed King of
2/1929, Oulaw� forces
begin open rebellion in Afghan provinces, their leader captured Kabul and
proclaimed himself Emir Habibullah Ghazi. Amanullah assembled an army at
Kandahar amnd attempted to regain the throne from, but was unsuccesfuol, and he
14/1/1929, Amanullah Khan
of Afghanistan, facing revolt, abdicated and left the throne to his older brother
However Anayatullah was a weak ruler, and fled the country
on 22/5/1929, amidsts general civil war.
1928, Amanullah Khan began to reform
Afghanistan, reducing the power of the religious leaders, giving women more
ffreedom,banning the veil, and ending polygamy. However in 11/1928 there was
widespread civil� disorder against his
22/11/1921. Britain recognised
the independence of Afghanistan, under the Anglo-Afghan Treaty, signed by the
Dobbs Mission in Kabul.
21/8/1919, Afghanistan became
8/8/1919, The Treaty of Rawalpindi was signed. This ended the Third
Afghan War, which had begun on 3/5/1919.
defeated Afghan raiders on the Indian border, the British bombed Jalalabad and
broke out between Britain and Afghanistan, The Third Afghan War, see 8/8/1919.
1919, Habibullah was assassinated. His successor Amanullah,
attempted to free the country from British influence, and attacked India.
This started a brief Third Afghan War
which ended when the British bombed Kabul and Jalalabad; the War was ended with
the Treaty of Rawalpindi.
Anglo-Russian agreement recognised Afghanistan as an independent Kingdom; a
Republic since 1973.
1904, Afghanistan�s western border with Persia was formally defined.
1/10/1901, Abdurrahman Khan, Amir of Kabul, died and was
succeeded by his son Habibula.
British put down a rebellion by Afghan tribes at the Battle of Durgai.
Britain and Russia created the Wakhan Corridoor, a sliver of land running
east-west as far as China, which they attached to Afghanistan, keeping the
rival British and Russian Empires apart.
Britain established the Durand Line setting the border British India and
Afghanistan with Emir Abdul Rahman Khan. This
split Pashtun lands in two.
The Second Afghan War
1881, End of
the Second Afghan War.This had
started in 1878, due to Afghanistan
ceding some territories to Russia, alarming the
British, who then sought to gain control over Afghanistan�s foreign policy.
1/9/1880, The British
were defeated at the Battle of Kandahar,
British lifted the siege of Kandahar,
where a British garrison had been besieged by Afghan rebels. A 10,000 strong
relief force had marched 313 miles, under General Sir Frederick Roberts, in just 23
27/7/1880, Battle of Maiwand, Second Afghan War.
19/10/1879, Afghan Emir Yakub
was forced to abdicate. He was replaced by his cousin, Adb-er-Rahman. Rahman succeeded in
diplomatically balancing competing Britain and Russian competing pressures in Afghanistan.
forces captured Kabul.
6/10/1879, Battle of Charasiab, Second Afghan War.
British defeated the Afghans.
rebellion against the British. British envoy Sir Louis Cavagnari was
the death of Sher
Ali, his son Mohammed Yakub was forced by Britain to accept
the Treaty of Gandamak this day, intended
to end the Second Afghan War. Under this Treaty, Britain occupied the Khyber Pass,
close to the NW border of India, in return for an annual payment to the Emir. However the Afghans
rebelled against this Treaty, see 3/9/1879.
21/11/1878, The British
Army advanced into Afghanistan from India. They
had been alarmed by Sher Ali, ruler of
Afghanistan, negotiating with the Russians whilst declining to receive a
4/3/1857, By the Treaty of Paris, Afghanistan�s independence was recognised by
Britain and France, and forced upon
Shah of Persia seized Herat, a city in NW
Afghanistan. In January 1857 the British under James Outram sent a military
force to oust the Persian occupiers.
Mohammed signed a peace treaty ending 12 years of hostility with
Britain. This agreement, the Treaty of Peshawar, was intended to thwart a
Persian occupation of Afghanistan.
16,500-strong Anglo-Indian force under Lord Auckland was massacred in Afghanistan
whilst retreating from Kabul. Harsh Afghan winters and
Afghan guerrilla tactics had defeated the British.
Start of First Afghan War (1839-42). This
War arose from the failure of a British mission to Kabul led by Captain Alexander
Burnes in 1837. The aim of this mission was to overthrow Dost Mohammed
(1793 � 1863) and replace
him with a predecessor leader. Britain wanted a more
pro-British Afghan ruler,� so as to
protect the northwestern borders of India. Dost Mohammed was indeed
overthrown but then restored in 1843 following
a revolt in Kabul.
The last Durrani Emir died. No new ruler emerged until 1826 when Dost Mohammed
became Emir. Britain and Russia began to compete for influence in the
region, during the so-called Great Game.
Afghan leader Shah
Shoja signed a Treaty of Friendship with Britain. The Shah promised
to oppose the passage of foreign (i.e. Russian) troops through his territory.
Independence of Afghanistan from Persia
1747, The modern
nation of Afghanistan was formed under Ahmad Shah
Durrani, a warlord who secured the independence of the country from
Shah ruled until 1773.This was the start of the Barkzai Dynasty, which endured until 1929.
1719, A 30,000-strong Persian army sent to retake Herat
was defeated by the Afghans.
1717, Abdali Afghans rebelled against the Persians at
1711, A large Persian army besieged Kandahar but was
driven back by guerrilla Afghan attacks.
1709, Safavid power in Persia was weak, and taking
advantage of this, Ghilzai Afghans rebelled at Kandahar and deposed the Persian
Governor, and declared an independent Afghanistan.
1530, On the death of Babur, Afghanistan was divided between an
Uzbek north, a Mughal east, and a Persian west.
1504, The Moghuls took Afghanistan. Babur, a descendant of Genghiz
Khan, made Kabul the capital, and then went on to establish the Mughal Empire
1369, Timur (Tamerlane) invaded the Afghanistan region,
incorporating it into his Timurid Empire.
1219, Genghis Khan invaded and laid waste the north and west of
1030, Mahmud, ruler of Ghazna, a kingdom in
modern-day Afghganistan and Iran, (born 971) died. The kingdom of Ghur (Ghowr),
previously a vassal State of Ghazmi, now rebelled and in 1151 Ghur forces
attacked the capital of Ghazni. The besieged it, capturing and then sacking it,
in 1152. The citizens were forced to flee to India. However by 1185 the city of
Ghazna was revived as a subsiadiary Ghur administratoive centre.
997, Mahmud of Ghanzni became ruler, and extended
his power as far as the Punjab in India.
2/10/971, Mahmud of
Ghazni, Afghan warrior, was born (died 1030).
962, Alptigin, a Turkish warrior-slave, captured
the Afghan fortress of Ghazni, and founded
the Ghaznavid Dynasty.
652, Arab armies invaded the Afghanistan region, introducing Islam.
250, Afghanostan became part of the Persian Sassanid Empire.
50 CE, Afghanistan became part of the Kushan Empire.
327 BCE, Alexander the Great conquered the Afghanistan
530 BCE, Cyrus the Great made Afghanistan part of the
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