(CNN Spanish) – As the Taliban, the Sunni Islamic movement that has kept Afghanistan in suspense since the early 1990s, finds itself again advancing on the country’s main cities amid the withdrawal of US troops, the eyes of the world are once again. over this corner of Central Asia.
Known as the “tomb of empires “, Due to the number of great powers that tried, with little success, to control the territory, Afghanistan has been the focus of geopolitical tensions for centuries.
This is a look at the history and the most important facts about Afghanistan.
Here are some important figures and facts about Afghanistan, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Territorial expansion: 652,230 square kilometers
Borders: 5,987 kilometers, bordering China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Weather: arid and semi-arid, with cold winters and hot summers.
Religion: Muslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 – 89.7%, Shia 10 – 15%), others 0.3%.
Life expectancy: 53.25 years
GDP (adjusted for purchasing power parity): US $ 78,557 million, US $ 2,065 per capita.
500 BC – Persian leader Darius the Great extend his empire to present-day Afghanistan. But Persian leaders, under Darius, Cyprus I, and other rulers, regularly face bitter and bloody tribal revolts.
329 BC – Macedonian-born Alexander the Great conquers Persia and Afghanistan. Greek rule continues over much of the area for the next two centuries, although riots and revolts are frequent.
fifty – The Kushan empire, and its Buddhist doctrines, begin to establish themselves in the region. However, around 220, the empire became a handful of small dynasties.
550 – After years of relative independence, Persian forces reassert control over the area, but continue to face intermittent revolts by native Afghan tribes.
962 – The Islamic era begins with the Ghaznavid dynasty, founded by the Turks and giving rise to the emerging political and cultural role of Afghanistan in Islamic civilization. Islam had been introduced in 652.
1219 – Ghengis Khan, and his Mongol army, successfully invade Afghanistan on their epic and bloody march west.
1273 – Marco Polo crosses northern Afghanistan on his journey from Italy to China. The area would become a critical, albeit sometimes dangerous, stop on the “Silk Road” that connected the West to the East.
1512 – Babur, leader of the Mughal Empire, establishes in Kabul the capital. But the later expansion of the empire towards India would limit the importance of the city.
1747 – Ahmad Shah unifies the country under the Durrani Empire, beginning modern Afghanistan, threatened by Persia and Russia.
1839-1880- The Emirate of Afghanistan and the British Empire fight their first war between 1839 and 1842, which ends in Afghan victory. Then between 1878 and 1880 they face each other again, with British victory and the occupation of the country.
1919 – After a third war between Afghanistan and the British Empire, the country declares finally their independence. A stage of modernization of the Afghan state begins under the reign of Amanullah Khan.
1973-1978 – Mohammed Zahir Shah, the last king of Afghanistan, is overthrown and the Republic of Afghanistan is established. In 1978 a new coup, carried out by communist sectors and support of the Soviet Union, overthrew the government.
1979-1989 – The Soviet Union invades and occupies Afghanistan to assist the communist government of Babrak Kamal. Afghan resistance fighters, collectively known as mujahideen, fight back.
1989-1993 – After the Soviet Union withdrew, fighting between the Mujahideen leads to chaos.
1994 – The Taliban movement is formed, which is comprised mostly of students, and is led by the veteran Muyadhín Mullah Omar. Shortly after they take the city of Kandahar and in September 1996 the capital, Kabul, also falls into the hands of the Taliban.
1997 – The Taliban issue a mandate renaming Afghanistan the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The country is only officially recognized by three countries: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
That same year Mullah Omar forged a relationship with Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda leader, who later moved his base of operations to Kandahar.
1996-2001- The group imposes strict Islamic laws on the Afghan population. Women must be covered from head to toe, they are not allowed to attend school or work outside the home, and they are prohibited from traveling alone. They also ban television, music, and non-Islamic holidays.
In November 2001, after major bombings by the United States as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the Taliban lost control of Afghanistan to the United States and Northern Alliance forces.
2001 – 2014 – The new government of Afghanistan, supported by NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), is fighting with Taliban forces in the framework of Operation Enduring Freedom.
After thirteen years of operations, on December 28, 2014, the United States and NATO ended their combat mission with Afghanistan. In an official ceremony, the ISAF commander officially marks the end of the coalition’s combat in Afghanistan.
2015: The United States begins Operation Freedom Sentinel (OFS) in January. The new mission carries out counterterrorism operations targeting groups such as al Qaeda and the local ISIS affiliate and also focuses on strengthening local Afghan security forces to help fight the Taliban. The new US mission will also assist and coordinate with the new NATO-led mission, Resolute Support.
2021– US President Joe Biden announces on April 14 his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan before September 11, 2021, considering that the protracted and intractable conflict in Afghanistan is no longer aligned with American priorities. “It’s time to end America’s longest war,” he says.
By August 13, the Taliban had taken control of the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city, Afghan Member of Parliament Gul Ahmad Kamin told CNN on Friday, and they were continuing their rapid advance toward the capital, Kabul, taking advantage of the departure of the United States underway.
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