Soviet Union Withdrawal From Middle East Gave Rise To Modern Terrorist Groups

Soviets in Afghanistan

Conflict’s in the Middle East have been going on since the dawn of time. Many countries have had wars in Afghanistan specifically. One country with a long battle was the Soviet Union.

Russia’s Vietnam

In 1978, the Soviet Union assisted a coup in Afghanistan by supporting Nur Mohammad Taraki. But in 1979, a counter-coup took over the government with Hafizullah Amin, who was not a fan of the Soviets.

In December of 1979, the Soviets began their fight in Afghanistan, sending in tanks and soldiers. The Soviets killed Amin and put Babrak Karmal in power. A man who the KGB trained.

The Muslims were not a fan of the communist ways nor the Soviets. They declared a jihad against them. A campaign was forged against them by mujahideen or “holy warriors.”

Fight Against the Iron Curtain

Many countries, including the United States and the UK, financially backed the jihadists and gave them arms. Even China sided with the holy warriors against the Soviet Union.

With all the support, the jihadists were hard to beat. The Soviets had a hard time keeping up. Reports estimate they lost up to 15,000 men in the ten years they were in Afghanistan.

Prior to this, the Soviet Union and the U.S. had a rough relationship and it was stretched even further by this conflict.

Cutting Their Losses

After ten long years, the Soviets decided to leave Afghanistan. They worked to withdraw from the country from April 1988 until February 1989.

The mujahideen took the win. However, there was no peace in the country. Even though the Soviets left, they offered financial support to the government.

In 1991, they cut off all financial support. The Afghan army became unable to resist the rebels.

The Taliban rose to power. They wanted Muslim law to rule the country. By 1996, they controlled 75% of the country. In 1998, it was 90%.

In Window Into The Present

In 2000, the UN spoke out against Sharia Law’s strict enforcement. They also said the Taliban was training terrorists. As a result, the UN sanctioned the government.

This all led to the 9/11 attacks and the U.S. teaming up with the Afghan military in the hopes of rooting out terrorism. At the end of 2001, the US and Afghan military took control of the government.

The Taliban lost Kalahar, forcing their dispersal. But Al-Qaeda and ISIL continued working against the Afghan and American efforts in the country.

Sources: 1

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