Open main menu

Timeline of the War in Afghanistan (2001–present)

The following items form a partial timeline of the War in Afghanistan. For events prior to October 7, 2001, see 2001 in Afghanistan

War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
Part of the larger Afghanistan conflict, and
the Global War on Terrorism
2001 War in Afghanistan collage 3.jpg
Clockwise from top-left: British Royal Marines take part in the clearance of Nad-e Ali District of Helmand Province; two F/A-18 strike fighters conduct combat missions over Afghanistan; an anti-Taliban fighter during an operation to secure a compound in Helmand Province; a French chasseur alpin patrols a valley in Kapisa Province; U.S. Marines prepare to board buses shortly after arriving in southern Afghanistan; Taliban fighters in a cave hideout; U.S. soldiers prepare to fire a mortar during a mission in Paktika Province, U.S. troops disembark from a helicopter, a MEDCAP centre in Khost Province.
(For a map of the current military situation in Afghanistan, see here.)
Date7 October 2001 – present
(17 years, 11 months, 1 week and 5 days)
Invasion (2001):
Afghanistan Northern Alliance
 United States
 United Kingdom
Canada Canada
Invasion (2001):
Afghanistan Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
055 Brigade[2][3]

ISAF phase (2001–14):
Afghanistan Islamic Republic of Afghanistan[7]
ISAF (2001–2015)
Resolute Support (2015–present)[8]
 United States
 United Kingdom
 Czech Republic

ISAF/RS Phase (from 2001):
Afghanistan Taliban


Afghanistan Taliban splinter groups

ISIL–KP[14] (since 2015)

Commanders and leaders
Afghanistan Hamid Karzai
Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani
United States Donald Trump
United Kingdom Boris Johnson
Australia Scott Morrison
Italy Giuseppe Conte
Germany Angela Merkel
John F. Campbell
List of former ISAF Commanders

Afghanistan Mohammed Omar 
Afghanistan Akhtar Mansoor 
Afghanistan Abdul Ghani Baradar (POW)[20]
Afghanistan Hibatullah Akhundzada[11]
Afghanistan Jalaluddin Haqqani [21]
Afghanistan Obaidullah Akhund [20]
Afghanistan Dadullah Akhund [20]
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Flag of Jihad.svg Osama bin Laden 
Flag of Jihad.svg Ayman al-Zawahiri

Afghanistan Muhammad Rasul  (POW)[13]
Haji Najibullah[22]

Afghanistan Afghan National Security Forces: 352,000[23]
Resolute Support Mission: ~17,000[24]

Military Contractors: 20,000+[25]

Afghanistan Taliban: 60,000
(tentative estimate)[26]

HIG: 1,500–2,000+[30]
Flag of Jihad.svg al-Qaeda: ~300[31][32][33] (~ 3,000 in 2001)[31]

Afghanistan IEHCA: 3,000–3,500[13]
Fidai Mahaz: 8,000[22]

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIL–KP: 3,500–4,000 (2018, in Afghanistan)[34]
Casualties and losses

Afghan security forces:
62,000+ killed[35][36][37]
Northern Alliance:
200 killed[38][39][40][41][42]
Dead: 3,561
(United States: 2,419, United Kingdom: 456,[43] Canada: 159, France: 89, Germany: 57, Italy: 53, Others: 321)[citation needed]
Wounded: 22,773 (United States: 19,950, United Kingdom: 2,188, Canada: 635)[44][45][46]
Dead: 3,937[47][48]
Wounded: 15,000+[47][48]

Total killed: 69,698+ killed[35]

Taliban: 60,000–65,000+ killed[35][26][49][50][37]
al-Qaeda: 2,000+ killed[31]

ISIL–KP: 2,400+ killed[51]
Civilians killed: 38,480+ killed[52][53]

a The continued list includes nations who have contributed fewer than 200 troops as of November 2014.[54]

b The continued list includes nations who have contributed fewer than 200 troops as of May 2017.[55]


  • October 7: (9 p.m. local time): the United States, supported by Britain, begins its attack on Afghanistan, launching bombs and cruise missiles against Taliban military and communications facilities and suspected terrorist training camps. Kabul, Kandahar, and Herat were hit.
  • October 9: A cruise missile kills four U.N. demining employees and injured four others in a building several miles east of Kabul.

October 19: Airborne invasion into Afghanistan by Rangers of the Third Ranger Battalion Seventy Fifth Ranger Regiment and others seizing a Qandahar airfield named Objective Rhino.


  • January 4: First US soldier dies due to hostile fire.
  • January 24, the Hazar Qadam raid sees Americans accidentally attack an allied compound collecting weapons for their Karzai government
  • February 14: Abdul Rahman, Afghan Aviation and Tourism Minister, killed by angry Hajj pilgrims.
  • March 1: Operation Anaconda against al-Qaeda fighters launched.
  • April 17: The 87-year-old exiled king of Afghanistan, Mohammed Zahir Shah, returns.
  • April 18: Tarnak Farm incident leaves four Canadians dead from friendly fire.
  • June 11: King Zahir Shah opens the first post-Taliban loya jirga.[59]
  • July 1: In Uruzgan province, a US AC-130 gunship struck a wedding party, killing 48 civilians and injuring 117. The United States claimed their plane had come under attack from anti-aircraft fire before the strike.
  • July 6: Vice President Abdul Qadir assassinated in Kabul.
  • September 5: 2002 Kabul bombing kills 30 people.



  • January 4 – Constitution approved by Loya Jirga.
  • January 26 – Constitution signed by President Hamid Karzai.
  • October 9 – 2004 Afghan presidential election. In the country’s first direct election, Hamid Karzai wins the presidency with 55.4% of the vote.







  • February 12: Five innocent civilians including two pregnant women and a teenage girl killed in the botched Khataba raid.
  • February 21: Uruzgan helicopter attack kills 27-33 civilians including four women and a child in Uruzgan province.
  • Spring: Operation Moshtarak Phase I is led by US Marines to retake Marjah, in Helmand Province, from the Taliban.
  • Spring-Summer: U.S. Surge to Afghanistan sees its peak, as 20,000 soldiers are deployed to the south
  • June 23: General Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of the ISAF, resigns after controversial comments critical of the Obama administration were published in a magazine.
  • July 23: The Sangin airstrike kills a large number of Afghan civilians mostly women and children in Nangarhar province.
  • July 25: WikiLeaks releases 90,000 leaked documents pertaining to the war in Afghanistan.
  • September 18: Afghan Parliamentary Elections are held, widely criticized as fraudulent, although with notable instances of electoral institution impartiality.
  • Fall: Operation Moshtarak Phases II and III are held in Kandahar, driving the Taliban out of traditional safe-havens
  • Fall: Command of Regional Command South rotates from British to American command.


  • January 26: The Afghan National Assembly is inaugurated.[65]
  • May 1: The number one Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, Pakistan, just miles from Islamabad.
  • May 23: 4 U.S. soldiers (2nd Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment) die and 1 wounded following an improvised explosive device attack in Kunar province.
  • June 4–6: The Battle Of Gewi Ridge takes place where a platoon of U.S. soldiers air-assaulted the mountain ridge of Gewi (Kunar province) for over-watch of a major re-supply convoy. Following the insertion, an intensive firefight lasting 52 hours takes place, resulting in the deaths of 50+ Taliban insurgents.
  • August 6: A CH-47 Chinook helicopter transporting 30 U.S. soldiers (including 17 Navy SEALs), 1 civilian interpreter and 7 Afghan troops is shot down in Wardak Province by RPG-wielding Taliban insurgents. There were no survivors of the crash. This incident marks the deadliest day for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001.
  • August 11: Vengeance is exacted on the 11 Taliban militants involved in downing the CH-47 Chinook, who are killed in an F-16 airstrike. Meanwhile, five ISAF service members die following an improvised explosive device attack in the southern provinces.
  • December 9: Mohammed Ishmael, Ghaziabad district (Kunar province) police chief is killed in a suicide bombing of a mosque carried out by a 12-year-old Pakistani boy.



The army of the United States continues to conduct missions throughout Afghanistan, began closing forward operating bases (FOB).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Operation Enduring Freedom Fast Facts". CNN. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  2. ^ "The elite force who are ready to die". the Guardian. 27 October 2001.
  3. ^ Neville, Leigh, Special Forces in the War on Terror (General Military), Osprey Publishing, 2015 ISBN 978-1472807908, p.48
  4. ^ "Pakistan's 'fanatical' Uzbek militants". BBC. 11 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Pakistan's militant Islamic groups". BBC. 13 January 2002.
  6. ^ "Evaluating the Uighur Threat". the long war journal. 9 October 2008.
  7. ^ Start of the Taliban insurgency after the fall of the Taliban regime.
  8. ^ "News – Resolute Support Mission". Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Role of Pakistan in afghan war".
  10. ^ "Taliban storm Kunduz city". The Long War Journal. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  11. ^ a b The Taliban's new leadership is allied with al Qaeda, The Long War Journal, 31 July 2015
  12. ^ Rod Nordland; Jawad Sukhanyar; Taimoor Shah (19 June 2017). "Afghan Government Quietly Aids Breakaway Taliban Faction". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  13. ^ a b c Matthew DuPée (January 2018). "Red on Red: Analyzing Afghanistan's Intra-Insurgency Violence". Combating Terrorism Center. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  14. ^ Seldin, Jeff (2017-11-18). "Afghan Officials: Islamic State Fighters Finding Sanctuary in Afghanistan". VOA News. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  15. ^ "Uzbek militants in Afghanistan pledge allegiance to ISIS in beheading video".
  16. ^ "Central Asian groups split over leadership of global jihad". The Long War Journal. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  17. ^ "Who is Lashkar-e-Jhangvi?". 2016-10-25. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  19. ^ ‘‘Al Qaeda’s Profile: Slimmer but More Menacing,’’ Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 9, 2003
  20. ^ a b c "'Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead'". The Express Tribune. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  21. ^ "'The Kennedys of the Taliban movement' lose their patriarch". NBC News. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  22. ^ a b "Mullah Najibullah: Too Radical for the Taliban". Newsweek. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  23. ^ "The Afghan National Security Forces Beyond 2014: Will They Be Ready?" (PDF). Centre for Security Governance. February 2014.
  24. ^
  25. ^ name="wsws"
  26. ^ a b Akmal Dawi. "Despite Massive Taliban Death Toll No Drop in Insurgency". Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  27. ^ Rassler, Don; Vahid Brown (14 July 2011). "The Haqqani Nexus and the Evolution of al-Qaida" (PDF). Harmony Program. Combating Terrorism Center. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  28. ^ Reuters. "Sirajuddin Haqqani dares US to attack N Waziristan, by Reuters, Published: September 24, 2011". Tribune. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  29. ^ Perlez, Jane (14 December 2009). "Rebuffing U.S., Pakistan Balks at Crackdown". The New York Times.
  30. ^ "Afghanistan after the Western Drawdown". Google books. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  31. ^ a b c "In Afghanistan, al-Qaeda is working more closely with the Taliban, Pentagon says". the Washington post. 6 May 2016.
  32. ^ Bill Roggio (26 April 2011). "How many al Qaeda operatives are now left in Afghanistan? – Threat Matrix". Archived from the original on 6 July 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  33. ^ "Al Qaeda in Afghanistan Is Attempting A Comeback". The Huffington Post. 21 October 2012. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  34. ^
  35. ^ a b c Rod Nordland; Mujib Mashal (26 January 2019). "U.S. and Taliban Edge Toward Deal to End America's Longest War". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  36. ^ "War-related Death, Injury, and Displacement in Afghanistan and Pakistan 2001–2014" (PDF). Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  37. ^ a b New Year May Bring Renewed War to Afghanistan
    Over 2,500 Afghan soldiers killed from Jan-May: US report
    "'It's a Massacre': Blast in Kabul Deepens Toll of a Long War". New York Times. 2018-01-27.
  38. ^ "Scores Killed in Fresh Kunduz Fighting". November 26, 2001. Retrieved October 2, 2008.
  39. ^ Morello, Carol; Loeb, Vernon (6 December 2001). "Friendly fire kills 3 GIs". Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
  40. ^ Terry McCarthy/Kunduz (18 November 2001). "A Volatile State of Siege After a Taliban Ambush". Time. Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
  41. ^ John Pike (9 December 2001). "VOA News Report". Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  42. ^ "US Bombs Wipe Out Farming Village". Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  43. ^ UK military deaths in Afghanistan
  44. ^ OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) U.S. CASUALTY STATUS FATALITIES as of: December 30, 2014, 10 a.m. EDT Archived 6 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^ "Number of Afghanistan UK Military and Civilian casualties (7 October 2001 to 30 November 2014)" (PDF). Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  46. ^ "Over 2,000 Canadians were wounded in Afghan mission: report". National Post. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  47. ^ a b "U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) – Defense Base Act Case Summary by Nation". Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  48. ^ a b T. Christian Miller (23 September 2009). "U.S. Government Private Contract Worker Deaths and Injuries". Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  49. ^ Iraj. "Deadliest Year for the ANSF: Mohammadi". Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  50. ^ 7,000 killed (2015),[1] 18,500 killed (2016),[2] total of 25,500 reported killed in 2015–16
  51. ^ Seldin, Jeff (2017-11-18). "Afghan Officials: Islamic State Fighters Finding Sanctuary in Afghanistan". VOA News. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  52. ^ Daniel Brown (9 November 2018). "The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed at least 500,000 people, according to a new report that breaks down the toll". Business Insider. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  53. ^ Crawford, Neta (August 2016). "Update on the Human Costs of War for Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001 to mid-2016" (PDF). Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  54. ^ "International Security Assistance Force (ISAF): Key Facts and Figures" (PDF).
  55. ^ "Resolute Support Mission (RSM): Key Facts and Figures" (PDF).
  56. ^ Independent Online, Taliban commander captured in Rebel victory, November 6, 2001
  57. ^ Hersh, Seymour M. (2009-01-07). "Annals of National Security: The Getaway". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
  58. ^ "Breaking News, Weather, Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports, Politics, Travel, Science, Technology, Local, US & World News". Archived from the original on December 16, 2005. Retrieved 2010-08-14. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  59. ^ "South Asia | Former king urges Afghan unity". BBC News. 2002-06-11. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
  60. ^ Matthias Gebauer (6 August 2010). "Germany to Pay $500,000 for Civilian Bombing Victims". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  61. ^ "French troops spearhead assault in Afghanistan". BBC News. 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
  62. ^ "French Afghan assault concludes". BBC News. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
  63. ^ "French troops lead Afghan attack on Taliban". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. 2009-12-17. Archived from the original on January 29, 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-21. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  64. ^ Karim Talbi (2009-12-18). "Afghanistan: démonstration de force de la Légion, cinq Américains blessés". AFP. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
  65. ^ After Months of Turmoil, Karzai Opens Parliament