Chronography of Afghanistan
modified 12 August 2023
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,
21 July 2021,
The Taleban now controlled around half of Afghanistan�s districts.
12 July 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 July 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
22 June 2021,
The Taleban opened an offensive in northern Afghanistan, far from theor
traditional southern power base.
7 June 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 May 2021,
Nerkh District, just outside Kabul, fell to the Taleban.
4 May 2021,
The Taleban launched a major offensive in Afghanistan in southern Helmand
Province, and stepped up military action in 6 other provinces.
14 April 2021, US President
Biden announced that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan would be
completed by 11 November 2021.
3/2021, The US military made last
ditch efforts to persuade US President Biden not to withdraw US forces
17 November 2020,
The Pentagon announced that the number of US troops in Afghanistan would be
reduced to 25,000.
29 February 2020, In
President Trump negotiated a deal with the Taliban setting a US
withdrawal date of 1 May 2021.
31 May 2017, A powerful car bomb exploded in Kabul, killing 90
and injuring a further 460.
7 December 2011, Kandahar, Afghanistan, surrendered to US forces; the
23 November 2011, Kunduz, Afghanistan, surrendered to US forces
without a fight.
16 November 2011, Fighting between US troops and the Taliban began
14 November 2011, US troops captured Kabul.
11 November 2011, US troops defeated the Taliban at Taloqan.
10 November 2011, US troops defeated the Taliban, Afghanistan, at
19 October 2011, US troops raided Kandahar.
14 May 2011, Pakistan officially condemned the US raid in
Bin Laden was killed.
1 May 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 December 2004, In Kabul, Hamid Karzai
was sworn in as President of Afghanistan after winning the elections of 9
October 2004. 18,000 foreign troops remained stationed in the country, much of
which was effectively run by local warlords.
2 April 2003, US forces launched air
attacks on the Taliban and al Qaeda forces in the Tor Ghar ountains,
Afghanistan, close to the Pakistan border.
5 September 2022, President
Karzai of Afghanistan survived an assassination attempt when a man
opened fire on his car as he travelled through central Kabul. Karzai was
unharmed and the assailant was killed by security forces.
13 June 2002, The Loya Jirga (Council of
Elders) elected Hamid
Karzai as interim President of Afghanistan.
Hamid Karzai elected
5 May 2002. Reports from Afghanistan suggested the Taleban were regrouping in mountain
hideouts, waiting for the Afghan government to falter.
22 December 2001, Hamid Karzai
was sworn in as head of the interim government in Afghanistan.
Hamid Karzai administration began
Alliamce gains against the Taleban, 2001
December 2001. Mullah Omar, the Taleban leader, surrendered
Kandahar; but Osama Bin Laden had still not been found.
November 2001. Kunduz, last
Taleban stronghold in northern Afghanistan, fell to the Northern Alliance.
November 2001. 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.
November 2001. Northern
Alliance forces now controlled large areas of northern Afghanistan,
including the western town of Herat.
November 2001. 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.
October 2001. The first daylight raids began by the USA on
Afghanistan against the Taliban and Bin Laden�s
supporters. This was America�s �Operation
US attacks on Afghanistan following the 9-11 Terror Attacks in the USA,
7 October 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
17 September 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 September 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 May 2000, Russia threatened airstrikes against the Taleban in Afghanistan in
retaliation for their support for Chechen separatists.
victory, control over Afghanistan, 1989-2001
8 March 2001, In
Afghanistan the Taliban demolished
ancient Buddhist statues.
14 November 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 June 1998, The Taleban closed down the
last girl�s school in the territory they controlled. This territory expanded in
the next 2 months.
23 February 1998, Osama bin Laden issued a fatwa
from Afghanistan calling for Muslims to kill Americans anywhere, and to
liberate Jerusalem from Westerners.
4 February 1998, A 6.1 magnitude earthquake
hit north-east Afghanistan, killing over 5,000 people.
27 December 1996, Taliban forces retook the important Bagram air base, consolidating
their territory around Kabul.
26 September 1996. The Taleban captured Kabul.
They drove out the former President, Burhanuddin Rabbani and executed Mohammad Najibullah.
November 1994. The Taliban
captured Kandahar, Afghanistan. See 26 September 1996.
1992, Drugs production in Afghanistan
remained a major issue, with an estimated 2,000 tonns of opiu m produced this
year. Consumption was both abroad and domestic, with an estimated 15% of all Afghan males aged 15-40 addicted to hard
7 September 1992. The first hanging in over 20 years took
place in Afghanistan, with
around 3,000 spectators.
28 July 1992. Afghanistan banned women, even wearing
veils, from being seen on TV.
29 April 1992, New
interim Government formed in Afghanistan, supposedly uniting several resistance
fighter groups. However infighting continued, rendering the government
25 April 1992, Kabul
fell to Mujaheddin forces.
16 April 1992, President
Najibullah of Afghanistan was overthrown. Mujaheddin rebels closed in on Kabul.
18 February 1989, In
Najibullah imposed a State of Emergency to bolster his authority.
Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, 1988-89
2 February 1989. The
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.
October 1988. The USSR offered US$600 million reparations to
15 May 1988. Soviet troops began leaving Afghanistan. On 15 April 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 May
1988, and the remainder, as many troops as this again, would go by 15 February 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.
14 April 1988, In
the Geneva Agreement, the USSR agreed to withdraw its forces from
7 April 1988, Gorbachev,
in Geneva, signed a peace accord on Afghanistan.
See Russia / Soviet
Union for more events relating to President Gorbachev
8 February 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 May 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.
15 January 1986, Soviet
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.
9 November 1982, Thousands
troops died in a fire inside the Salang
Pass road tunnel, Afghanistan.
February 1980. In Kabul, martial law was imposed after violent
January 1980, The Islamic Conference of 36 nations condemned the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
January 1980. NATO and the Common Market debated whether to boycott the Moscow Olympics after the USSR had invaded Afghanistan, on 27
14 January 1980, The UN passed a resolution
calling for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.
January 1980, Jimmy Carter proclaimed a grain embargo
against the USSR, following its invasion of Afghanistan; the European
Commission backed this embargo.
January 1980, US President Jimmy Carter told the US Senate not
to ratify the SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) with the USSR until
Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan.
December 1979. President Hafizullah
of Afghanistan was deposed
and executed in a coup strongly backed by Soviet� troops. On 8 January 1980 President
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.
December 1979, Soviet troops began an invasion of
Soviet bid to control Afghanistan, as counter against
Chinese-oriented Pakistan. Islamic resistance to Soviet influence, 1973-79
3 July 1979,
US President Jimmy Carter
signed the first secret directive for aid to be given to anti-Communist
opponents of the Kabul government.
27 March 1979, Hafizullah Amin became Prime
Minister of Afghanistan.
20 March 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 February 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 December 1978. The USSR signed
a 20-year friendship treaty with Afghanistan. See 27 April 1978.
6 May 1978, The UK
recognised the new regime in Afghanistan.
30 April 1978, The Soviet Union
recognised the new regime in Afghanistan.
27 April 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 July 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 December 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 July 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 November 1933, Mohammed Nadir Shah, King of Afghanistan, was assassinated in Kabul. He
was succeeded by his son, Mohammed Zahir Shah.
15 October 1929, Amanullah�s
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
25 February 1929, All
Embassy staff had now evacuated Afghanistan as the situation grew more tense.
14 January 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 May 1929, amidst general civil war.
23 December 1928, An evacuation of all women
and children from foreign Legations in Kabul began as unrest intensified.
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 November 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 May 1919.
24 May 1919. Having
defeated Afghan raiders on the Indian border, the British bombed Jalalabad and
3 May 1919. Fighting
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 October 1901, Abdurrahman Khan, Amir of Kabul, died and was
succeeded by his son Habibula.
20 October 1897, The
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 September 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 July 1880, Battle of Maiwand, Second Afghan War.
22 July 1880, Abd-er-Rahman
was officially installed as Emir of Afghanistan.
19 October 1879, Afghan Emir Yakub
was forced to abdicate. He was replaced by his cousin, Abd-er-Rahman. Rahman succeeded
in diplomatically balancing competing Britain and Russian competing pressures
12 October 1879, British
forces captured Kabul.
6 October 1879, Battle of Charasiab, Second Afghan War.
British defeated the Afghans.
3 September 1879, Afghan
rebellion against the British. British envoy Sir Louis Cavagnari was
26 May 1879, Following
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
the Afghans rebelled against this Treaty, see 3 September 1879.
21 November 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 March 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.
30 March 1855, Afghan
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 January 1842. A
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 October 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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