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This article is more than 3 month old.

The Taliban Timeline: From Doha Agreement to complete takeover

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It was a long wait of 20 years for the Taliban. But it ended at lightning speed. After Donald Trump invited them to the negotiating table and Joe Biden signalled the final retreat of US troops, the provincial capitals fell like dominos. And Kabul was theirs for the taking.

The Taliban Timeline: From Doha Agreement to complete takeover
The Taliban has essentially completed the takeover of Afghanistan, concluding nearly 20 years of conflict as President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. The Taliban is a military and religious movement that was founded in Afghanistan in response to the Soviet invasion of the country. The group was founded by Mullah Mohammad Omar, a Pashtun and a mujahedeen commander.
Now one of the co-founders is poised to become the president of the country, nearly 20 years after the group was ousted from power by US and NATO allies during their global war on terror.
Here is a timeline of events in Afghanistan in the context of the US forces and how the Taliban stormed back into power.
1996
The Taliban take control of Afghanistan after emerging as the strongest faction in the civil war that tore the country apart in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of the country.
September 2001
After the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, the Taliban government refused to hand over Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organisation who were responsible for the attack. The US invoked the NATO defence treaty and invaded Afghanistan in response, toppling the government and setting up a democratic Afghanistan government.
July 2018
Under President Donald Trump, the US government engaged in independent official negotiations with the Taliban. The Taliban was not declared a terrorist group in a marked a departure from previous conduct.
The negotiations did not involve other NATO allies whose forces were also in the country, nor the official Afghan government which was still officially in conflict with the Taliban.
February 2020
After nearly two years of negotiations, a peace deal was reached with the signing of the Doha Agreement. The US pledged to withdraw its and its allies’ troops from the country in exchange for certain guarantees from the Taliban. As part of the agreement, the Taliban was not to attack urban centres or use terror strikes like suicide bombing and received 5,000 released fighters in exchange. Only one end of the bargain was upheld later.
September 2020
The talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban started in Doha, but did not make any headway, being bogged down with problems.
April 14, 2021
President Joe Biden announced that he would be honouring the commitments set out in the Doha Agreement and all US and NATO troops would be withdrawing by September 11, on the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
May 4, 2021
In three weeks since President Biden’s announcement, the Taliban launched a major offensive in seven provinces, including the southern Helmand province, which was one of their former strongholds.
June 22, 2021 
The group started a new offensive in the northern part of Afghanistan, which has traditionally been a bastion of anti-Taliban resistance. The group controlled 50 of 370 districts in the country according to the UN.
July 2, 2021 
The US forces pulled out of their headquarters, Bagram Air Base, effectively signalling their exit from the conflict. Afghan forces said the US forces left in the middle of the night without informing them.
August 6, 2021
Zaranj was the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban after many years. Kunduz, Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif, Pul-e-Alam and many others followed in quick succession, with Kabul left for the last. NATO and US troops continued their retreat.
August 15, 2021
President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and the Taliban took over the capital of Kabul without even the semblance of resistance. Chaos prevails as several hundreds of citizens try to leave the country through the only airport not under the Taliban’s control.
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