Panjshir conflict

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Panjshir conflict
Part of War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
2021 Taliban Offensive.png
Map of controlled land in Afghanistan, the Panjshir Valley is the only remaining uncontested area controlled by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and its allies.
Date16 August 2021 – present
Status Ongoing

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

  • Taliban

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Commanders and leaders
Hibatullah Akhundzada
Mohammad Yaqoob
Abdul Ghani Baradar
Amrullah Saleh
Ahmad Massoud
Bismillah Khan
Units involved
Taliban Remnants of the Afghan National Security Forces

The Panjshir conflict[citation needed] is a political dispute between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which began following the Fall of Kabul (2021).


The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a state that is the notional continuation of the regime that previously governed Afghanistan. It exercises de facto control over the Panjshir Valley, which is largely contiguous with Panjshir Province and according to The Week, as of August 2021 is "the only region out of [the] Taliban's hands".[1]


Prior to the Fall of Kabul, Panjshiris began moving military equipment from surrounding areas, including helicopters and armored vehicles, into Panjshir Province.[2] There, they were joined by commanders of the Afghan National Army Commando Corps.[2]

On 17 August 2021, Amrullah Saleh — citing provisions of the Constitution of Afghanistan — declared himself President of Afghanistan from the Panjshir Valley, and vowed to continue military operations against the Taliban from there.[3] His claim to the presidency was endorsed by Ahmad Massoud and Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Minister of Defence Bismillah Khan Mohammadi.[3] At around the same time, remnants of the Afghan National Army began massing in the Panjshir Valley at the urging of Masoud.[4][1]

As of 17 August, the Panjshir Valley was — according to one observer — "under siege on all sides" but had not come under direct attack.[5] As of August 2021, no military conflict had occurred in Panjshir Province and a negotiated end to the political impasse has been discussed.[2]

On August 17, Russian intelligence sources reported that forces loyal to Saleh had managed to re-capture Charikar and the surrounding areas of Parwan Province from the Taliban.[6] Charikar is strategically located near Bagram Airbase and the Salang tunnel, along the only major road connecting Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif.[7] Unconfirmed reports also indicate a possible alliance between Saleh's and Massoud's forces and forces loyal to Abdul Rashid Dostum, whose base of power was Mazar-i-Sharif. Dostum was reported to have retreated to Uzbekistan with some of his soldiers after the Taliban capture of Kabul.[8]

See also[edit]

  • Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
  • War in Afghanistan (2001-Present)


  1. 1.0 1.1 "An anti-Taliban front forming in Panjshir? Ex top spy Saleh, son of 'Lion of Panjshir' meet at citadel". The Week. August 17, 2021. Archived from the original on August 17, 2021. Retrieved August 17, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Hakemy, Sulaiman (August 17, 2021). "Panjshir: The last bastion of anti-Taliban resistance in Afghanistan". The National. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Panjshir flies flag of resistance again; Amrullah says he is President of Afghanistan". Tribune India. August 17, 2021. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  4. "'Northern Alliance' flag hoisted in Panjshir in first resistance against Taliban". Hindustan Times. August 17, 2021. Archived from the original on August 17, 2021. Retrieved August 17, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. Mottram, Linda (August 17, 2021). "Resistance and refugees: the Afghan province holding out against the Taliban". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on August 17, 2021. Retrieved August 17, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. Missing or empty |title= (help)

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