Two Years Since Fall of Republic

Anniversary of Kabul’s fall: August 15, 2021 events

City of Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: Reuters

It has been two years since Afghanistan fell to the Taliban. On this day two years ago, the Taliban’s advance claimed all provinces except for Panjshir in the north of Kabul. All other provinces were fallen to the Taliban from August 6th to August 15th.

The fall unfolded consecutively, culminating in Kabul’s capture by the group. Provinces including Kapisa, Parwan, Wardak, Bamyan, Khost, Nangarhar, Daikundi, Nuristan, and Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15th, 2021.

Former President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani fled Afghanistan covertly at 2:30 PM on August 15, 2021, and by evening, the Taliban had entered the capital’s center.

Former Parwan governor Fazluddin Aiyar acknowledged being undersupplied for Parwan’s defense on the day it fell, recalling, “At that time, I went to the security department. To use the security part, there was no one. Everyone was present for this claim. We didn’t have parts that defended the lines.”

Conversely, the former head of Nangarhar Provincial Council, Ahmad Ali Hazrat, disclosed that Nangarhar’s local administration and some ethnic leaders had brokered an understanding with the Taliban, indicating that if the group gained control in Kabul, Nangarhar would yield to them without resistance.

The lead-up to August 15 saw Kabul and Panjshir provinces under the previous government’s jurisdiction. By around 11:00 AM, apprehensions and rumors of Kabul’s fall escalated. At 02:30 PM, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani clandestinely left Afghanistan on a tricycle.

Ghani expressed his departure as a necessity to prevent further conflict and to thwart the historical adversaries’ schemes of demeaning the country’s national leadership, stating on August 15, 2021, “I was forced to leave Afghanistan to prevent the war and destruction of Kabul, and to prevent the conspiracy of Afghanistan’s historical enemy, which was the tragedy of humiliating the country’s national leader.”

Following Ghani’s departure, hopes for a political accord with the Taliban dissolved. That evening, the Taliban arrived at the citadel, an event broadcast live by Al Jazeera.

By day’s end, sources reported flights to Turkey, New Delhi, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan, transporting numerous republic officials and political figures out of Afghanistan. Some flights also headed to Panjshir, which hadn’t yet fallen to the Taliban. The resistance initiated from Panjshir this evening, continuing until its eventual capture by the Taliban in September 2021.