While India celebrated its Independence day on August 15, one of the neighboring countries witnessed a downfall like never before. An insurgent group took over the capital, and the President fled the country. Soon, evacuation began. Desperate citizens rushed to the borders and the airport to get out of the country alive. Ending 20 years of war in the country, 2021 became the year that Afghanistan’s capital Kabul fell into Taliban rule.
Here is a detailed timeline of how things went south in Afghanistan:
April 14: Newly elected US President Joe Biden inherited a deal struck by the Trump administration. He announced that the US will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by May 2021. Biden planned a months-long withdrawal that would start in May and be completed by Sept. 11, marking the anniversary of the attacks on the twin towers.
May 2021: Troops in Afghanistan begin withdrawal.
July 22: The United States has launched about six airstrikes across Afghanistan in less than a month, part of an effort to support Afghan security forces attempting to hold the Taliban at bay.
August 2: The then President Ashraf Ghani blames the US for its ‘abrupt’ withdrawal of forces that led to a threat to Afghanistan’s security.
August 5: Taliban advance towards the capital. The insurgent group launched assaults on two major Afghan cities, Kandahar and Herat, shooting rockets at their airports.
August 6: The Taliban seized its first provincial capital Zaranj, of Nimruz province, on the border with Iran.
August 7: The strategic city of Sheberghan, the capital of Jawzjan province in northern Afghanistan, fell to the Taliban after one week of clashes.
August 9: Taliban fighters seize most of the capital of northern Afghanistan’s key Kunduz province, and take another neighboring provincial capital after a monthlong siege.
August 11: President Biden says, “I do not regret my decision.” Taliban capture Badakhshan in the north, Farah in the west, and Baghlan, some 160 miles from Kabul.
August 13: Afghanistan’s second and third largest cities fall into Taliban power. The group inches close to Kabul.
August 14: Taliban reaches Kabul outskirts. US authorities troops for evacuation efforts.
August 15: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani flees the country with four cars and a helicopter stuffed with cash. Taliban enters Kabul, capture the entire country.
Chaos erupts as thousands try to flee the country
Since August 14, the US has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 114,400 people. Since the end of July, the US has relocated approximately 120,000 people. India launched operation Dev Shakti to evacuate citizens out of Afghanistan.
Thousands of Afghans rushed into Kabul’s main airport Monday, some so desperate to escape the Taliban that they held onto a military jet as it took off and plunged to their deaths. At least seven people died in the chaos, U.S. officials said, as America’s longest war ended with its enemy the victor. The crowds came while the Taliban enforced their rule over the capital of 5 million people after a lightning advance across the country that took just over a week to dethrone the country’s Western-backed government.
Fear and panic prevailed in Afghanistan capital Kabul as people tried to flee following the Taliban’s dramatic takeover of the country less than a couple of weeks after the US security forces started to pull out from the country. A video showed people pushing each other to get into the aircraft to fly out of the country. A sea of people could be seen at the tarmac of the airport. | Read More
Taliban’s brutality doesn’t end with the formation of a government
The Taliban have announced an interim government in Afghanistan, declaring the country an “Islamic Emirate” on September 7. Despite promising an inclusive government, the brutality of the insurgent group doesn’t end.
On October 30, Amrullah Saleh, former Vice President of Afghanistan, on Saturday claimed that the Taliban had killed at least thirteen people in order to silence music at a wedding party in Nangarhar province. Taking to Twitter, Amrullah Saleh said, “Taliban militiamen have massacred 13 persons to silence music in a wedding party in Nangarhar.” In another interview with CNN-News 18, Saleh accused Pakistan of colluding with the Taliban as it took control of Afghanistan following the pull out of international security forces led by the US.
The Taliban dissolved Afghanistan’s two election commissions as well as the state ministries for peace and parliamentarian affairs Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for Afghanistan’s Taliban-run government, said the country’s Independent Election Commission and Electoral Complaint Commission have been dissolved.
He called them “unnecessary institutes for the current situation in Afghanistan.” He said if there is a need for the commissions in the future, the Taliban government can revive them.
ALSO READ | Taliban guns down boy attending wedding in Kabul