This day in history, October 7, 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom begins with a U.S. led attack on Afghanistan.
The invasion started the “war on terrorism” and was a response to the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C.
The invasion of Afghanistan was intended to target terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization, as well as the extreme fundamentalist Taliban government.
The U.S. led coalition began intensely bombing the Taliban on this day, 15 years ago. Logistical support was provided by France, Germany, Australia and Canada.
In the weeks leading up to the invasion, the U.S. and the U.N. Security council demanded that the Taliban turn over Osama Bin Laden. The Taliban’s counteroffer was rejected as they wanted to try Bin Laden in an Islamic court.
The invasion began with an aerial bombardment of Taliban and al-Qaeda installations in Kabul, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Konduz and Mazar-e-Sharif. Other coalition planes flew in airdrops of humanitarian supplies for Afghan civilians.
Bin Laden then called for a war against the non-Muslim world.
After conducting aerial attacks and weakening Taliban defenses, a ground invasion began with Northern Alliance troops making up a large portion of the force. Other nations gave ground and air support.
On November 12, Taliban officials retreated from the capital city of Kabul and by December, Kandahar, the last Taliban stronghold, had fallen and Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar went into hiding.
Al-Qaeda initiated a truce and Bin Laden managed to escape to Pakistan.