After the Taliban swiftly swept away, without much of a resistance, the Afghan Army and government on the heels of the U.S.-led coalition’s withdrawal from the country, chaos has gripped Afghanistan.

Panicked Afghan civilians, desperate to leave a country under Taliban rule, have flooded the Kabul airport. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Western countries are airlifting out thousands of Afghans as well as their own citizens. 

But one province is still holding out and gathering anti-Taliban forces.


The Panjshir Resistance

The group known as the Panjshir resistance, National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, or the Second Resistance, has de facto control over Panjshir Province and Panjshir Valley.

The group is a military coalition of former Northern Alliance members and anti-Taliban fighters, who refer to themselves to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

They are led by the Afghan politician and military leader Ahmad Massoud and the first vice president of Afghanistan Amrullah Saleh, who was born in Panjshir. Massoud is the son of famous Northern Alliance warlord Ahmad Shah Massoud, a powerful guerrilla commander during the resistance against the Soviet invasion and occupation between 1979 and 1989.

In the 1990s, Ahmad Shah Massoud led the fight against the Taliban until his assassination in 2001, two days before the 9/11 attacks against the United States.