Siege of Khost

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Siege of Khost
Part of the Soviet–Afghan War and the Afghan Civil War (1989–1992)
Date 1980 – April 11, 1991
Location Khost, Khost Province, Afghanistan

Mujahideen victory

  • Soviet withdrawal (1988)
  • Mujahideen forces capture the city (1991)
Afghanistan Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
 Soviet Union (1980–1988)

Afghan Mujahideen:

Commanders and leaders
Afghanistan Mohammed Rafie
Afghanistan Abdul Qadir
Afghanistan Shahnawaz Tanai
Afghanistan Mohammad Aslam Watanjar
Afghanistan Abdul Rashid Dostum
Afghanistan Nazar Mohammed
Afghanistan Mohammed Asif Delawar
Soviet Union Sergei Sokolov
Soviet Union Valentin Varennikov
Soviet Union Boris Gromov
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Flag of Jihad.svg Jalaluddin Haqqani
Flag of Jihad.svg Mohammad Nabi Mohammadi
Flag of Jihad.svg Ibrahim Umari Haqqani

The Siege of Khost: during the nine-year Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s and the subsequent Afghan civil war, the town of Khost was besieged for more than eleven years. Its airstrip's 3 km runway served as a base for helicopter operations by Soviet forces.

Operation Magistral was an offensive launched to relieve it at the end of 1987. The first convoys reached Khost at the end of December 1987. When the main Soviet force had withdrawn, Mujahideen groups cut off Khost once again, as they had done since 1981.

Following the creation of the Commander's Shura, which united the Peshawar Seven and assault was coordinated to capture Khost, an assault which at least according to former special envoy to the Mujahideen Peter Tomsen was more an ISI operation than a Mujahideen one.[1] This fighting was a co-ordinated attack by the forces of Hezb-e Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Jalaluddin Haqqani and local Ahmadzai tribes led by Mohammad Nabi Mohammadi. The Ahmadzai were able to spearhead the assault after Hezb-e Islam and Haqqania suffered setbacks, and eventually able to capture the city and negotiate the surrender of the garrison resulting in victory on April 11, 1991.[2]


  1. ^ Tomsen, Peter. The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failure of Great Powers. 2011
  2. ^ Tomsen,Peter

Further reading

  • De Ponfilly, Christophe(2001); Massoud l'Afghan; Gallimard; ISBN 2-07-042468-5
  • Bear Trap: Afghanistan's Untold Story by Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf
  • Greenwald, John (Jan 11, 1988). "Afghanistan Fighting for the Road to Khost". TIME. Retrieved 2008-01-28.

Coordinates: 33°19′59″N 69°55′01″E / 33.3331°N 69.9169°E / 33.3331; 69.9169

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