THE FIRST NORTHERN ALLIANCE
This is not the first time Kabul has fallen to the Taliban – it took years, but they were beaten back then, and they will be again. In 1996, tribes opposed to their brutal rule unified into the first Northern Alliance and fought off incursions into free areas of Afghanistan, saving the lives of countless civilians that would have perished under their persecution. Even in the war's darkest days, resistance to the Taliban never ceased, and it is with the same spirit that today's National Resistance Front fights on.
AHMAD SHAH MASSOUD
The Lion of Panjshir
Officially a National Hero of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Massoud (1953–2001) was a pivotal figure in the resistance against both the Soviets and the Taliban. Between 1979 and 1989, he was a powerful guerilla commander in the fight against the Soviet occupation, and after the Taliban takeover, he led the Northern Alliance against their dictatorial regime until his assassination by Al-Qaeda operatives, working with the Taliban then as they do now. He was the only Afghan commander who never left the country in its decades of war against the Soviet Union and the Taliban.
Massoud is regarded as one of the greatest guerrilla leaders of the 20th century for successfully and repeatedly defending his home province of Panjshir from capture by either hostile force. At his mausoleum in 2019, his son Ahmad Massoud was declared his successor in the fight against the Taliban by hundreds of their multiethnic supporters, grateful for their family’s unceasing dedication to protecting the rights of all Afghan people.