Regional powers such as Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, India and Uzbekistan seeking influence over the geostrategically located Afghanistan each supported and in some cases controlled one of those militias.
While Kabul and some other major cities witnessed most of the fighting during that period, most of the more rural parts of Afghanistan, which had seen especially massive bombardment by the Soviets and Communists, remained relatively calm.
Following the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001, NATO invaded Afghanistan under Operation Enduring Freedom.
The purpose of this was to defeat Al-Qaeda, to remove the Taliban from power, and to create a viable democratic state.
In early 1995, as they launched a major operation against the capital Kabul, they suffered a devastating defeat against the Islamic State forces of Massoud in what many analysts saw as the movement's end.
By 1996, however, they had regrouped with massive military support by Pakistan and financial support by Saudi Arabia.
The War in Afghanistan began on 27 April 1978, when the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) took power in a military coup, known as the Saur Revolution.
Afghanistan's resistance forces, known as the mujahideen, fought against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union had to withdraw its troops in February 1989.
In all, 523 Soviet soldiers were killed during the withdrawal.
The total withdrawal of all Soviet troops from Afghanistan was completed in February 1989.
Some factions received support by the United States, with the Pakistani ISI serving as the U. The Soviet-backed Afghan communist government survived for three more years until the fall of Kabul in 1992.
In 1992, the Afghan political parties agreed on the Peshawar Accords which established the Islamic State of Afghanistan and appointed an interim government.
Militia leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was opposed to the agreement and with Pakistani support started a bombardment campaign against Kabul.