With the last US flight leaving Afghanistan, America’s longest war has come to an end.
Here’s a timeline of some of the biggest developments during the 20-year conflict.
- 7 October 2001: A US-led coalition bombs Taliban and al-Qaeda facilities in Afghanistan. Targets include Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad. The Taliban, who took power after a decade-long Soviet occupation was followed by civil war, refuse to hand over al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden
- 13 November 2001: The Northern Alliance, a group of anti-Taliban rebels backed by coalition forces, capture Kabul
- 7 February 2009: US President Barack Obama approves a major increase in the number of troops sent to Afghanistan. At their peak, they number about 140,000
- 28 December 2014: Nato ends its combat operations in Afghanistan. With the surge now over, the US withdraws thousands of troops. Most of those who remain focus on training and supporting the Afghan security forces
- 29 February 2020: The US and the Taliban sign an “agreement for bringing peace” to Afghanistan, in Doha, Qatar. The US and Nato allies agree to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants uphold the deal
- 13 April 2021: US president Joe Biden announces that all US troops will leave Afghanistan by 11 September that year
- 16 August 2021: In just over a month, the Taliban sweep across Afghanistan, taking control of towns and cities all over the country, including Kabul. Afghan security forces collapse in the face of the Taliban advance
- 31 August 2021: The US completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan