Fall of Kabul (2021)

Fall of Kabul
Part of the 2021 Taliban offensive of the War in Afghanistan (2001–2021)
C-17 carrying passengers out of Afghanistan.jpg
Afghans fleeing Kabul Airport aboard a US Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during the fall of Kabul
Date15 August 2021 (2021-08-15)
Kabul, Afghanistan
34°18′47″N 69°06′15″E / 34.3131°N 69.1042°E / 34.3131; 69.1042 (Kabul, Afghanistan)

Taliban victory

Taliban control Kabul; NATO and the ANA maintained temporary control of Hamid Karzai International Airport for evacuation
Supported by:
Commanders and leaders

Units involved

 Afghan Armed Forces

 Afghan National Army

Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul was captured by the Taliban on 15 August 2021, the culmination of a major insurgent offensive that began in May 2021. This led to the overthrowing of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan under President Ashraf Ghani and reinstating the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under the control of the Taliban. The US–Taliban deal, signed on 29 February 2020, was one of the critical events that caused the collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).[18] Following the deal, the US dramatically reduced the number of air attacks and deprived the ANSF of a critical edge in fighting the Taliban insurgency, leading to the Taliban takeover of Kabul.[19]

The capital city was captured amid the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in accordance with the US–Taliban deal to conclude the 2001–2021 war.[20] Before the capture, most of Afghanistan's provincial capitals had fallen in succession during a Taliban offensive, with United States Intelligence Community assessments estimating in July 2021 that Kabul would fall within months or weeks following the withdrawal of American forces. The estimate led US President Joe Biden to concede on 16 August that "this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated".[21][22][23][24][25]

Between 14 August and 31 August 2021, the US and its coalition partners evacuated more than 123,000 people from Afghanistan via airlifts from Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport, which remained under NATO and US military control following the collapse of the central government.[26][27] Evacuees included foreign diplomatic staff and military personnel, third-country civilians,[a] Afghan allies and vulnerable Afghans such as journalists and human rights activists.[27] The airlift was the largest non-combatant evacuation operation in US military history, with US military personnel transferring 79,000 civilians through the airport and out of Afghanistan over the 18-day mission.[26][28][29]

After the United States' withdrawal on 31 August, a group of about one thousand people, including US citizens and Afghans holding American visas were stranded due to the Taliban.[30] Two weeks later, secretary of state Antony Blinken, said it was "several thousand" US residents and one hundred US citizens.[31]

  1. ^ Roggio, Bill (12 July 2021). "Taliban advances as U.S. completes withdrawal". FDD's Long War Journal. Archived from the original on 24 July 2021. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Taliban declares 'war is over in Afghanistan' as foreign powers exit Kabul". The Guardian. 16 August 2021. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  3. ^ Ghantous, Ghaida (18 August 2021). "UAE says Afghanistan's Ghani is in Gulf Arab state". Reuters. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  4. ^ Baker, Sinéad (19 August 2021). "The Taliban have declared the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,' the same name it used when it brutally ruled the country in the 1990s". Business Insider. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Taliban declare formation of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan". www.uniindia.com.
  6. ^ Faulkner, Charlie (3 September 2021). "Spiritual leader is Afghanistan's head of state — with bomb suspect set to be PM". The Times. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  7. ^ "The Panjshir Valley: what is the main bastion of resistance against the Taliban advance in Afghanistan". Market Research Telecast. 17 August 2021. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  8. ^ Kapetas, Anastasia (16 August 2021). "After the fall of Kabul". www.aspistrategist.org.au/. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference eco was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ a b Moiz, Ibrahim (27 August 2021). "A tricky path from insurgency to Emirate". TRT World.
  11. ^ "Senior Taliban commander, several civilians killed in Kabul hospital attack". France 24. 2 November 2021.
  12. ^ "First to enter presidential palace, Taliban member died in Daesh attack". TRT World. 3 November 2021.
  13. ^ Batchelor, Tom (15 August 2021). "Afghan president Ashraf Ghani flees capital Kabul for Tajikistan as Taliban enter city". The Independent. Archived from the original on 15 August 2021. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  14. ^ Azaz, Syed (11 August 2021). "Afghanistan Army Chief removed from post". Geo.tv. Archived from the original on 11 August 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  15. ^ Cite error: The named reference Talib-commander was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  16. ^ Kilcullen, David (17 August 2021). "Critical intervention that swung the battle for Kabul". The Australian. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  17. ^ a b Roggio, Bill (14 August 2021). "Taliban encircling Afghan capital Kabul, prepping final assault through east". FDD's Long War Journal. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  18. ^ Borger, Julian (18 May 2022). "US withdrawal triggered catastrophic defeat of Afghan forces, damning watchdog report finds". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  19. ^ "US withdrawal prompted collapse of Afghan army: Report". Al Jazeera. 18 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  20. ^ "Afghan conflict: US and Taliban sign deal to end 18-year war". BBC News. 29 February 2020.
  21. ^ Kevin Liptak, Jeff Zeleny, Kaitlan Collins, Jennifer Hansler and Maegan Vazquez. "Biden admits Afghanistan's collapse 'did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated'". CNN.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  22. ^ "Misread warnings helped lead to chaotic Afghan evacuation". AP NEWS. 18 August 2021.
  23. ^ Missy Ryan; Karen DeYoung (13 April 2021). "Biden will withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  24. ^ "The Fall of Kabul: Beginning of Taliban 2.0". The Financial Express. 16 August 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  25. ^ "Final US planes leave Kabul airport after two decades of war in Afghanistan". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  26. ^ a b Darryl Coote & Don Jacobson. "Afghanistan rockets fired at Kabul airport amid US withdrawal". United Press International.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. ^ a b "Factbox: Evacuations from Afghanistan by country". Reuters. 31 August 2021.
  28. ^ Kathryn Watson (31 August 2021). "Uncertainty lingers for Americans trying to leave Afghanistan after U.S. withdrawal". CBS News.
  29. ^ Lara Jakes (31 August 2021). "Stranded in Kabul: A U.S. Resident Runs Out of Options". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 December 2021. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  30. ^ Melissa Eddy and; Thomas Gibbons-Neff (5 September 2021). "U.S. Citizens and Afghans Wait for Evacuation Flights From Country's North". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 December 2021. Retrieved 6 September 2021. Around 1,000 people, including dozens of American citizens and Afghans holding visas to the United States or other countries, remained stuck in Afghanistan for the fifth day on Sunday as they awaited clearance for the departure from the Taliban
  31. ^ "Blinken pushes back on GOP criticism of Afghan withdrawal". www.nbc29.com. Associated Press.

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