Northern Alliance

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The Northern Alliance, officially known as the United Islamic National Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, was a military alliance of rebel groups that operated between late 1996 to 2001 after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) took over Kabul. The United Front was originally assembled by key leaders of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, particularly president Burhanuddin Rabbani and former Defence Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud. Initially it included mostly Tajiks but by 2000, leaders of other ethnic groups had joined the Northern Alliance. This included Karim Khalili, Abdul Rashid Dostum, Abdullah Abdullah, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Abdul Qadir, Asif Mohseni, Amrullah Saleh and others.

The Northern Alliance fought a defensive war against the Taliban government. They received support from India, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, while the Taliban were extensively backed by the Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Intelligence. By 2001 the Northern Alliance controlled less than 10% of the country, cornered in the north-east and based in Badakhshan province. The US invaded Afghanistan, providing support to Northern Alliance troops on the ground in a two-month war against the Taliban, which they won in December 2001. With the Taliban forced from control of the country, the Northern Alliance was dissolved as members and parties supported the new Afghan Interim Administration, with some members later becoming part of the Karzai administration.

Amidst the Fall of Kabul in 2021, former Northern Alliance leaders and other anti-Taliban figures have regrouped as the Second Resistance.[1]


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