Added to Various — Operation Enduring Freedom

2 January
2006 – U.S. Marines operating out of Lamu, Kenya, were said to be assisting Kenyan forces patrolling the border with Somalia with the interception of Islamists.

6 January
2012Acting on intelligence from other counter-piracy forces, the USS Carney boarded the Indian-flagged dhow, Al Qashmi. By the time the search team boarded, all evidence of potential piracy had been disposed of, though the crew said they were hijacked by the 9 pirates on board from a different vessel. The 9 suspected pirates were disarmed and given sufficient fuel and provisions to return to Somalia.

8 January
2006 – An AC-130 gunship belonging to the United States military attacked suspected al-Qaeda operatives in southern Somalia. The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower had been moved into striking distance. The aircraft flew out of its base in Djibouti.

25 January
2012 – Two U.S. Navy Seal teams raided a compound 12 miles north of Adow, Somalia, freeing two hostages while killing nine pirates and capturing five others.

27 January
2003 – During Operation Mongoose, when a band of fighters were assaulted by U.S. forces at the Adi Ghar cave complex 15 miles (24 km) north of Spin Boldak, 18 rebels were reported killed with no U.S. casualties. The site was suspected to be a base for supplies and fighters coming from Pakistan. The first isolated attacks by relatively large Taliban bands on Afghan targets also appeared around that time.

January 28
2010An International Conference on Afghanistan was held at Lancaster House in London, where members of the international community discussed the further progress on the Petersberg agreement from 2001 on the democratization of Afghanistan after the ousting of the Taliban regime. The one-day conference, hosted by the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the Afghan government, meant to chart a new course for the future of Afghanistan and brought together foreign ministers and senior representatives from more than 70 countries and international organizations.

13 February
2010 – Operation Moshtarak, the first coalition operation lead by Afghan forces, to take out a Taliban stronghold near the village of Marjah, began. Involving 15,000 US, British, and Afghan troops, it is the largest joint operation since the 2001 invasion.

17 February
200917,000 extra US troops were ordered to Afghanistan to bolster security in the country and thereby boosted the 36,000 US troops already there by 50%. “This increase is necessary to stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires,” Obama said in a written statement. “The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, and Al-Qaeda supports the insurgency and threatens America from its safe haven along the Pakistani border,” Obama also said. He recognized “the extraordinary strain this deployment places on our troops and military families”, but the deteriorating security situation in the region required “urgent attention and swift action”.

22 February
2012 – US troops at Bagram Base disposed copies of the Quran that had been used by Taliban prisoners to write messages to each other. As part of the disposal parts of the books were burned. Afghan forces working at the base reported this, resulting in outraged Afghans besieging Bagram AFB, raining it with petrol bombs and stones. After five days of protest, 30 people had been killed, including four Americans.

11 March
2012United States Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales murdered sixteen civilians and wounded six others in the Panjwayi District of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Nine of his victims were children, and eleven of the dead were from the same family. Some of the corpses were partially burned. Bales was taken into custody later that morning when he told authorities, “I did it”. On August 23, 2013, a jury at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Fort Lewis, Washington sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

29 April
2008Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) started their operations with an attack on the Taliban-held town of Garmsir. The operation was in conjunction with British troops of the 16 Air Assault Brigade.[5] They met almost no resistance, because the Taliban had already observed in the previous days the movements of the Marines before the operation and expected an assault so withdrew to take up positions a few kilometers outside the town.[6] For the next few days there was no contact between the US Marines and the Taliban.

2 May
2011Osama bin Laden, the founder and head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan shortly after 1:00 am PKT (20:00 UTC, May 1) by U.S. Navy SEALs of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or SEAL Team Six). The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was carried out in a Central Intelligence Agency-led operation. In addition to DEVGRU, participating units included the U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) and CIA operatives. The raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, was launched from Afghanistan. After the raid, U.S. forces took bin Laden’s body to Afghanistan for identification, then buried it at sea within 24 hours of his death. The United States had direct evidence that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, knew of bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Al-Qaeda confirmed the death on May 6 with posts made on militant websites, vowing to avenge the killing.

12 May
2007 – U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) killed Mullah Dadullah, a notorious Taliban commander in charge of leading operations in the south of the country; eleven other Taliban fighters were killed in the same firefight.

16 May
2011 – The USS Stephen W. Groves exchanged fire with Jih Chun Tsai 68, a known pirate mothership. When a boarding team arrived, they found 3 pirates dead and captured 2 pirates.

17 May
2006Operation Mountain Thrust was launched. There was heavy fighting during June and July 2006, with Afghanistan seeing the bloodiest period since the fall of the Taliban regime. The Taliban showed great coordination in their attacks, even capturing two districts of Helmand province at the end of July, which were retaken a few days later. The Taliban suffered during the fighting more than 1,100 killed and close to 400 captured. Heavy aerial bombing was the main factor. But even so the coalition forces had close to 150 soldiers killed and 40 Afghan policemen captured by the Taliban.

27 May
2014 – President Barack Obama announced that U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan would end in December 2014 and that the troops levels will be reduced to 9,800 troops by this time.

2 June
2012SAS and US Delta force conduct joint operation which successfully rescues 5 foreign aid workers from a gang of insurgents in Shahr-e-Bozorg district near the Afghan – Tajikistan border. SAS and Delta Force arrived by helicopter and took part in “long march” to a cave where the 5 aid workers were being held in a maze of caves. The two teams then engaged insurgents in a firefight and overpowered the heavily armed kidnappers, and the hostages were rescued in the cave assaulted by the SAS. 11 insurgents were killed in the assault and there were no SAS fatalities or injuries.

18 June
2013The handover of security from NATO to Afghan forces was completed. The International Security Assistance Force formally handed over control of the last 95 districts to Afghan forces at a ceremony attended by President Hamid Karzai and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at a military academy outside Kabul. Following the handover, Afghan forces will have the lead for security in all 403 districts of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Before the handover they were responsible for 312 districts nationwide, where 80 percent of Afghanistan’s population of nearly 30 million lives.

25 June
2011 – U.S. Predator drones attacked a Shabaab training camp south of Kismayo. Ibrahim al-Afghani, a senior al Shabaab leader was rumored to be killed in the strike.

July 8
2010An article tilted, “The Runaway General”, appeared in Rolling Stone magazine, in which General Stanley McChrystal and his staff mocked civilian government officials, including Joe Biden, National Security Advisor James L. Jones, US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl W. Eikenberry, and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke. McChrystal was not quoted as being directly critical of the president or the president’s policies, but several comments from his aides in the article reflected their perception of McChrystal’s disappointment with Obama on the first two occasions of their meeting. This leads to McChrystal’s resignation and replacement as Commander of US forces in Afghanistan by General David Petraeus.

13 July
2011The U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan began when the first 650 U.S. troops -left Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama’s planned drawdown. The units that left were the Army National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 134th Cavalry Regiment, based in Kabul, and the Army National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, which had been in neighboring Parwan province.

17 July
2006Task Force Orion (Canadian) was ordered to retake the captured towns of Nawa and Garmsir, which they did after intense fighting on 18 July. They stayed for another week in Helmand. All these operations affected Canadian operations in the area of the Panjwaii region. The Canadians were assisted by three US special forces teams.

25 July
2010The release of 91,731 classified documents from the Wikileaks organization was made public. The documents cover U.S. military incident and intelligence reports from January 2004 to December 2009. The leaked documents also contain reports of Pakistan collusion with the Taliban. According to Der Spiegel, “the documents clearly show that the Pakistani intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (usually known as the ISI) is the most important accomplice the Taliban has outside of Afghanistan.”

31 July
2006 – ISAF assumed command of the south of Afghanistan.

6 August
2011A US Chinook was shot down by the Taliban, resulting in 38 deaths (30 Americans and 8 Afghans), no survivors. Among the U.S. deaths were 17 Navy Seals who had been part of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU). It was the same unit who killed Osama Bin Laden, although none of the deceased partook in the operation.

8 August
2007 – Taliban fighters launched a direct assault on a US and Afghan coalition firebase codenamed Firebase Anaconda. The Taliban assault was repulsed, with at least two dozen Taliban fighters killed.

2 September
2006A 16 day Canadian-led offensive during the second Battle of Panjwaii of the war in Afghanistan. The operation was fought primarily by the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group and other elements of the International Security Assistance Force, supported by the Afghan National Army and a team from the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) augmented by C Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment. Its goal was to establish government control over an area of Kandahar Province centered on the town of Panjwayi some 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of Kandahar city. A tactical victory, it resulted in the deaths of 12 Canadian soldiers, five during the major combat operations, five in bombings and two in a mortar/RPG attack during the reconstruction phase of the operation. Fourteen British military personnel were also killed when their plane crashed. NATO announced the operation over on September 17, 2006. They said that the operation was a success in destroying the Taliban force that was massing near Kandahar, and the Taliban had been driven from both Panjwayi and Zhari districts of Kandahar province.

6 September
2011 – A U.S. drone struck a large Al-Shabaab base, killing 35 militants.

12 September
2010A U.S. and Afghan military offensive, called Operation Hamkari, focusing on the Afghan province of Kandahar was launched soon after the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, which ended September 10. The offensive did not begin as one specific operation, but rather a series of operations in Kandahar City and its surrounding districts throughout the late summer and fall in 2010. Places where operations were conducted included Malajat, Zhari, Arghandab and the Horn of Panjwayi. These operations are credited with putting severe pressure on insurgent operations and increasing security in some key areas such as in Panjwayi. Unlike operations of previous years, Operation Hamkari featured the extensive use of Afghan National Security Forces, including the Afghan Border Police (ABP), led by Spin Boldak ABP Commander Gen. Abdul Razziq.

14 September
2001 – The State Department, in a memo demanded that the Taliban surrender all known al-Qaeda associates in Afghanistan, provide intelligence on bin Laden and his affiliates and expel all terrorists from Afghanistan.
2001 – Congress passed legislation titled Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, which was signed on 18 September 2001 by President Bush. It authorized the use of U.S. Armed Forces against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

15 September
2010Operation Dragon Strike, to reclaim the strategic southern province of Kandahar, which was the birthplace of the Taliban movement. The area where the operation took place has been dubbed “The Heart of Darkness” by Coalition troops.The main force leading the operation were units from the 101st Airborne Division. Some of the heaviest of the fighting during the operation had been in the Zhari District, which is on the main highway to Kandahar and a major insurgent supply route into the city, the Arghandab District and the Panjwaye District. By the end of December 2010, the operation’s main objectives had been accomplished. The majority of Taliban forces in Kandahar had withdrawn from the province, and much of their leadership was said to have been fractured.

20 September
2001A grand council of over 1,000 Muslim clerics from across Afghanistan that had convened to decide bin Laden’s fate, issued a fatwa, expressing sadness for the deaths in the 9/11 attacks, urging bin Laden to leave their country and calling on the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to conduct an independent investigation of “recent events to clarify the reality and prevent harassment of innocent people”. The fatwa went on to warn that should the United States not agree with its decision and invade Afghanistan, “jihad becomes an order for all Muslims.” White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer rejected the response, saying the time for talk had ended and it was time for action.

26 September
2006Operation Mountain Thrust, a follow-up operation to Operation Medusa, to clear Taliban rebels from the eastern provinces of Afghanistan began. Another focus of the operation was to enable reconstruction projects such as schools, health-care facilities, and courthouses to take place in the targeted provinces. During the operation, the Taliban suffered large losses during direct battle with NATO coalition forces; as a result, they are expected to focus more on tactics such as the use of Improvised Explosive Devices.
200610th Mountain Division began their combat operations against the Taliban forces that were entrenched in the mountains on the border with Pakistan in the east in the provinces of Paktika, Khost, Ghazni, Paktia, Logar and Nuristan, establishing many remote outposts in regions that were previously Taliban dominated. These outposts came almost under continued attacks as well as did the American combat patrols

27 September
1996 – The Taliban, with military support by Pakistan and financial support from Saudi Arabia, seized Kabul and founded the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. They imposed their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam in areas under their control, issuing edicts forbidding women to work outside the home, attend school, or to leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative.

5 October
2006 – ISAF assumed command of the east of Afghanistan.
2013 – American commandos from DEVGRU launched an amphibious raid on the town of Baraawe engaging with al-Shabaab militants and inflicting some casualties on them before withdrawing.

7 October
2001U.S. aerial bombing campaign began, President Bush said “Full warning had been given, and time is running out.” The State Department gave the Pakistani government one last message to the Taliban: Hand over all al-Qaeda leaders or “every pillar of the Taliban regime will be destroyed.” Airstrikes were reported in Kabul, at the airport, at Kandahar (home of Mullah Omar), and in the city of Jalalabad. On the ground, teams from the CIA’s Special Activities Division arrived first. They were soon joined by U.S. Army Special Forces from the 5th Special Forces Group and other units from United States Special Operations Command. At 17:00 UTC, President Bush confirmed the strikes and Prime Minister Blair addressed his nation. Bush stated that Taliban military sites and terrorist training grounds would be targeted. Food, medicine and supplies would be dropped to “the starving and suffering men, women and children of Afghanistan”.

28 October
2007 – About 80 Taliban fighters were killed in a six-hour battle with forces from the US-led coalition in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

November 6
2009Ambassador Eikenberry wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “Sending additional forces will delay the day when Afghans will take over, and make it difficult, if not impossible, to bring our people home on a reasonable timetable. An increased U.S. and foreign role in security and governance will increase Afghan dependence, at least in the short-term.”

9 November
2001Northern Alliance forces, under the command of Dostum and Ustad Atta Mohammed Noor, overcame resistance crossing the Pul-i-Imam Bukhri bridge, and seized the city of Mazar i Sharif’s main military base and airport. U.S. Special Forces Operational Detachment A-595, CIA paramilitary officers and United States Air Force Combat Control Team[137][138][139] on horseback and with close air support, took part in the push into Mazari Sharif. After a bloody 90-minute battle, Taliban forces withdrew after holding the city since 1998, triggering celebrations. The fall of the city was a “body blow” to the Taliban and ultimately proved to be a “major shock”,[141] since the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) had originally believed that the city would remain in Taliban hands well into the following year and any potential battle would require “a very slow advance”. Following rumors that Mullah Dadullah was headed to recapture the city with as many as 8,000 fighters, a thousand American 10th Mountain Division personnel were airlifted into the city, providing the first solid position from which Kabul and Kandahar could be reached.[144][145] While prior military flights had to be launched from Uzbekistan or aircraft carriers in the Arabian Sea, the Americans now had an airport that allowed them to fly more sorties for resupply missions and humanitarian aid. These missions allowed shipments of humanitarian aid to be immediately shipped to Afghans facing starvation on the northern plain. American-backed forces began immediately broadcasting from Radio Mazar-i-Sharif, the former Taliban Voice of Sharia channel, including an address from former President Rabbani.

12 November
2001Taliban forces fled Kabul under cover of darkness. Northern Alliance forces arrived the following afternoon, encountering a group of about twenty fighters hiding in the city’s park. This group was killed in a 15-minute gun battle. After these forces were neutralized, Kabul was in the hands of coalition forces. The fall of Kabul started a cascading collapse of Taliban positions. Within 24 hours, all Afghan provinces along the Iranian border had fallen, including Herat. Local Pashtun commanders and warlords had taken over throughout northeastern Afghanistan, including Jalalabad. Taliban holdouts in the north, mainly Pakistani volunteers, fell back to the northern city of Kunduz.

13 November
2001 – Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces, possibly including bin Laden, were concentrating in Tora Bora, 50 kilometers (31 mi) southwest of Jalalabad. Nearly 2,000 al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters fortified themselves in positions within bunkers and caves.

14 November
2001United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1378 which included “Condemning the Taliban for allowing Afghanistan to be used as a base for the export of terrorism by the al-Qaeda network and other terrorist groups and for providing safe haven to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and others associated with them, and in this context supporting the efforts of the Afghan people to replace the Taliban regime”. The United Nations World Food Programme temporarily suspended activities within Afghanistan at the beginning of the bombing attacks but resumed them after the fall of the Taliban.

15 November
2001 – The U.S. was able to track and kill al-Qaeda’s number three, Mohammed Atef with a bomb at his Kabul home between 14–16 November 2001, along with his guard Abu Ali al-Yafi’i and six others.

16 November
2001 – The Taliban’s last stronghold in northern Afghanistan was under siege. Nearly 10,000 Taliban fighters, led by foreign fighters, continued to resist. By then, the Taliban had been forced back to their heartland in southeastern Afghanistan around Kandahar.
2001 – The U.S. began bombing the mountain redoubt of Tora Bora. Around the same time, CIA and Special Forces operatives were at work in the area, enlisting local warlords and planning an attack.

25 November
2001Taliban fighters in the vicinity of Tora Bora surrendered to Northern Alliance forces. Shortly before the surrender, Pakistani aircraft arrived to evacuate intelligence and military personnel who had been aiding the Taliban’s fight against the Northern Alliance. The airlift is alleged to have evacuated up to five thousand people, including Taliban and al-Qaeda troops.

26 November
200115 Taliban armored vehicles approached Camp Rhino, south of Kandahar, and were attacked by helicopter gunships, destroying many of them. Meanwhile, airstrikes continued to pound Taliban positions inside the city, where Mullah Omar remained. Omar remained defiant although his movement controlled only 4 out of 30 Afghan provinces by the end of November. He called on his forces to fight to the death.

6 December
2001 – The U.S. government rejected amnesty for Mullah Omar or any Taliban leaders.

7 December
2001Mullah Omar slipped out of Kandahar with a group of loyalists and moved northwest into the mountains of Uruzgan Province, thus reneging on the Taliban’s promise to surrender their fighters and their weapons. He was last reported seen leaving in a convoy of motorcycles. Other Taliban leaders fled to Pakistan through the remote passes of Paktia and Paktika Provinces. The border town of Spin Boldak surrendered on the same day, marking the end of Taliban control in Afghanistan. Afghan forces under Gul Agha seized Kandahar, while the U.S. Marines took control of the airport and established a U.S. base.
2009 – Afghan President Karzai said it may be five years before his army is ready to take on the insurgents.[5] Karzai also said that Afghanistan’s security forces will need U.S. support for another 15 to 20 years.

9 December
2002The Spanish SPS Navarra (F85) intercepted the unflagged freighter So San several hundred miles southeast of Yemen at the request of the United States government. The frigate fired across the So San’s bow after the freighter ignored hails and attempted to evade the frigate. The freighter’s crew was North Korean; 23 containers containing 15 complete Scud ballistic missiles, 15 high-explosive warheads, and 23 nitric acid (used as an oxidizer for fueling Scud missiles) containers were found on board. Yemen claimed ownership of the shipment and protested the interception and U.S. officials released the vessel after receiving assurances that the missiles would not be transferred to a third party.

14 December
2006The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer warned that al-Qaeda cell operatives were controlling the Islamic Courts Union, the Islamist faction of Somalia rapidly taking control of the southern area of the country. Frazer later announced that the United States has no intention of committing troops to Somalia to root out al-Qaeda.

15 December
2006NATO forces launched Operation Falcon Summit with the intention of expelling Taliban fighters from the Panjawi and Zhari districts of Kandahar. Canadian troops had been fighting with Taliban fighters in the area for several months. Although the operation was under British command, the majority of movements and elements on the ground were Canadians operating from forward operating bases set up in the district during the fighting of Operation Mountain Thrust and Operation Medusa.

16 December
2009Coalition troops began Operation Septentrion, a 36-hour operation in the Uzbin Valley (east of Kabul). The force of 1100 troops included 800 members of the French Foreign Legion together with 200 US special forces and Afghan soldiers. The purpose of Operation Septentrion was “reaffirming the sovereignty of Afghan security forces in the north of the Uzbeen Valley,” according to a French military spokesperson, and also to plant an Afghan flag in a key strategic village. While 75% of the Uzbin Valley had been under coalition control, a corner of it had remained in Taliban hands.

17 December
2001The last cave complex at Tora Bora had been taken and its defenders overrun. U.S. and U.K. forces continued searching into January, but no sign of al-Qaeda leadership emerged. An estimated 200 al-Qaeda fighters were killed during the battle, along with an unknown number of tribal fighters. No American or British deaths were reported.

19 December
2006 – A NATO air strike targeting a car in a deserted area of Helmand province killed Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani along with two other men. He was the top Taliban commander for all of their operations in southern Afghanistan.

20 December –
2001More than two months after the attack began, the UNSC authorized the creation of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to assist the Afghan Interim Authority in maintaining security. Command of ISAF passed to NATO on 11 August 2003, following the US invasion of Iraq in March of that year. ISAF was initially established as a stabilization force by the UN Security Council to secure Kabul. Its mandate did not extend beyond this area for the first few years.

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