Afghanistan; key historical events
Page last modified 22/8/2021
Afghanistan � if not the graveyard of empires, then at least the hazardous minefield of them.
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US evacuation of Afghanistan, Taleban victory.
15/8/2021, 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.
14/8/2021, 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.
13/8/2021, The Pentagon said Kabul was �not under immediate threat� from the Taleban.
6/8/2021, Zaranj, in southern Afghanistan, became the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban. They captured several more such cities in the following days, including Kunduz.
21/7/2021, The Taleban now controlled around half of Afghanistan�s districts.
12/7/2021, 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.
2/7/2021, 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 airfield.
22/6/2021, The Taleban opened an offensive in northern Afghanistan, far from theor traditional southern power base.
7/6/2021, 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.
11/5/2021, Nerkh District, just outside Kabul, fell to the Taleban.
4/5/2021, 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 from Afghanistan.
17/11/2020, The Pentagon announced that the number of US troops in Afghanistan would be reduced to 25,000.
29/2/2020, In Afghanistan, US 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 Taliban fled.
23/11/2011, Kunduz, Afghanistan, surrendered to US forces without a fight.
16/11/2011, Fighting between US troops and the Taliban began near Kandahar.
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 Mazar-e-Sharif.
19/10/2011, US troops raided Kandahar.
14/5/2011, Pakistan officially condemned the US raid in which Osama Bin Laden was killed.
1/5/2011, The US announced that Osama 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 in reconstruction.
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
US attacks on Afghanistan following the 9-11 Terror Attacks in the USA
7/10/2001. Following 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 attacks
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 Masud, 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.
3/7/1979, 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.
5/12/1978. The USSR signed
a 20-year friendship treaty with
6/5/1978, The UK
recognised the new regime in
30/4/1978, The Soviet Union
recognised the new regime in
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.
1965, Elections in Afghanistan; the monarchy retained power. The Marxist Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) was formed and then banned. The PDPA then split into the Parcham (flag) and Khalq (masses) factions.
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.
1956, Afghanistan implemented its first Five Year Plan as the country began to modernise with Soviet aid. Daud Khan became more pro-Soviet in his policies.
1953, Mohammad Daud Khan became Prime Minister.
1946, Afghanistan joined the United Nations.
8/11/1933, Mohammed Nadir Shah, King of Afghanistan, was assassinated in Kabul. He was succeeded by his son, Mohammed Zahir Shah.
15/10/1929, Nadir Khan was proclaimed King of Afghanistan, after Emir Amanullah fled the country on 22/5/1929.
14/1/1929, Amanullah Khan of Afghanistan, facing revolt, abdicated and left the throne to his brother Inayatullah Khan.
1928, Amanullah Khan began to reform Afghanistan, reducing the power of the religious leaders, giving women more ffreedom,banning the veil, and ending polygamy.
22/11/1921. Britain recognised the independence of Afghanistan, under the Anglo-Afghan Treaty, signed by the Dobbs Mission in Kabul.
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
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
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.
20/10/1897, The British put down a rebellion by Afghan tribes at the Battle of Durgai.
1895, 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.
1893, Britain established the Durand Line setting the border British India and Afghanistan with Emir Abdul Rahman. This split Pashtun lands in two.
The Second Afghan War
4/3/1857, By the Treaty of Paris, Afghanistan�s independence was recognised by Britain and France, and forced upon Persia.
11/1856, The 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.
30/3/1855, Afghan leader Dost 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.
6/1/1842. A 16,500-strong Anglo-Indian force under Lord Auckland was massacred in Afghanistan whilst retreating from Kabul.
1839, 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 and replace him with a predecessor leader. Dost Mohammed was indeed overthrown but then restored following a revolt in Kabul.
1823, 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.
1809, 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.