By Pierre Breteau and Romain Imbach

Posted yesterday at 6:06 p.m., updated at 7:41 a.m.

When the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies began to withdraw from Afghanistan, on 1er May 2021, the situation seemed relatively stable between parts of the country held by the government and others controlled by the Taliban.

But it changed rapidly in early summer: entire provinces were taken by Taliban troops in July and early August. The big cities followed until August 15, when the capital, Kabul, fell to the Taliban.

Read the story: Victory of the Taliban: the new masters of Afghanistan are gradually emerging from the shadows

In ten days, the Afghan army, trained for twenty years by the international coalition, collapsed. The reasons are various: difficulty of supplying in a mountainous country, corruption or even poor supply of arms and ammunition. The military withdrawal that began two months ago quickly deprived the Afghan forces of the American air umbrella, without the Afghan air force being able to take over.

The map below traces the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in the 407 districts resulting from the division of the American forces (which correspond more or less to the administrative division of the 399 Afghan districts in 2012). The data comes from the Long War Journal, a site developed by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a US non-governmental organization for research and information on terrorism.

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Du côté de chez Massoud

Ici on va dire de quoi il s'agit


Move the slider to view the evolution over time since April 13, 2021.

NorthKabulKabulKandaharKandaharHeratHeratMazâr-e CharîfMazâr-e CharîfJalalabadJalalabadFarahFarahKhostKhostPol-e KhomriPol-e KhomriTâloqânTâloqân

Controlled by the Taliban

Disputed territory

Government controlled

Controlled by the resistance of the Panshir

Within a matter of weeks, the Taliban – which controlled only a few districts representing 14.4% of the Afghan population in early April – conquered almost all of the territory, covering 99.4% of the population, with the exception of the Panshir valley. This region north of Kabul was the only one, Wednesday August 18, to escape their control. It is run by a local group led by Ahmad Massoud, son of Commander Ahmed Chah Massoud.

Almost all of the population under Taliban rule

Evolution of the share of the population residing in a district according to the controlling force (according to the 2017 census), in percentage.

… controlled by the Taliban… dispute… controlled by the government… to unknown control16August3August3June261913302325272113AprilEnd2020202118113May167July990%100%14.4%53.2%28.6%0.6% * 1er May: start of withdrawalAmerican troopsEarly August :regional capitalsfall one after anotherothers99.4%

* Since August 16, share of the population residing in districts controlled by the Panshir resistance

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Sources: FDD’s Long War Journal, Central Statistics Organization (CSO) Afghanistan and The world

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