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Timeline: 20 years of the Taliban in Afghanistan

From 1979 to present day

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 16, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 months ago
Posted: Aug 16, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 months ago

Here is a timeline of every major event that has happened in Afghanistan with respect to the lead up to the Taliban takeover this weekend.

1979: People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan assassinates Afghan President Mohammad Daoud Khan

1978: The Soviets invade Afghanistan in order to support the government, which faces an internal rebellion

1983: President Ronald Regan meets Afghan Mujahideen and promises help against the Soviets

Early 1989: As the Soviet Union collapses, its army withdraws, leaving the Afghan forces on their own

1992: Soviet-backed President Najibullah Mehsud resigns

1992: The Americans and Russians cut off aid. The Russians also cut funding. The pro-Russian Afghan government is overthrown, civil war breaks out. The Taliban assume power

1994: The Afghan Taliban emerge in Kandahar and take over. The group is led by Mullah Omar and his students. The Taliban claim they want to “clear” the country of warlords.

1996: After a two-year civil war, Afghanistan comes under Taliban rule. They bring in orthodox policies and repress human rights. Kabul is destroyed, resulting in 50,000 reported deaths

2001: Terrorists linked with al-Qaida hijack commercial planes to execute an attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon outside Washington

2001: US and allied forces invade Afghanistan. The Taliban retreat to Kandahar. Al-Qaeda disperses

 2002: President

George W. Bush calls for a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan


President Bush and the Pentagon announce major combat operations in Afghanistan


Hamid Karzai is elected President of Afghanistan

2003: The

US invades Iraq

2009: President Barack Obama recommits US forces to Afghanistan

2009: Obama states a new strategy for Afghanistan, linking the return of the group in parts of the country to the Pakistani Taliban

 2009: 30,000

US troops are sent to Afghanistan

2011: Osama bin Laden is killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan by US troops

2014: Obama announces a plan for a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2016

2020: President Donald Trump negotiates a deal with the Taliban for US troop withdrawal by May 1, 2021

 2021: President

Joe Biden announces that a full troop withdrawal from

Afghanistan will be complete by Sept. 11

May 1, 2021: US troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan

July 6, 2021: The US troops evacuate Bagram Airfield

Aug. 6 2021: Taliban

begin to take hold as troops exit

Aug. 13, 2021: Taliban take hold of Kandahar

Aug. 14, 2021: Mazar-e-Sharif falls

to the Taliban

Aug. 15, 2021: Kabul falls

to the Taliban. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani flees the

country, the government collapses

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