Chronology-Afghanistan/Algeria/Bahrain/Egypt/Iran/Iraq/Israel/Jordan/Kuwait/Lebanon/Mauritania/Morocco/Oman/Pakistan/Qatar/Saudi Arabia/Sudan/Syria/Turkey/Tunisia/United Arab Emirates/Yemen

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Afghanistan

July 19: NATO forces intercepted a five-point directive from Mullah 'Umar, the spiritual leader of the Afghan Taliban, in which he called on members to fight foreign troops, obtain heavy weapons, and kill civilians collaborating with coalition forces. If genuine, the directive marked a turnaround for Umar who in 2009 urged Taliban members to avoid killing civilians. [Al-Jazeera, 7/19]

July 26: The US government condemned the leak of more than 90,000 classified military documents on the war in Afghanistan, including details on Afghan civilian deaths, special forces units targeting high-level Taliban members, and concerns that the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI was helping the Taliban. The documents were released by the online whistleblower WikiLeaks and covered the period January 2004 through December 2009. [Al-Jazeera, 7/26]

July 23: A NATO rocket attack on an Afghan village killed up to 52 civilians. Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered the National Security Council to investigate the incident. Witnesses said that civilians were fired upon by helicopters while they sought cover after being warned of an impending firefight between Taliban militants and NATO troops. [Al-Jazeera, 7/27]

July 27: The US Department of Defense launched an investigation into the leak of thousands of classified documents on the war in Afghanistan to whistleblower website WikiLeaks. Officials said that the person who leaked the classified documents appeared to have security clearance and access to sensitive documents. Bradley Manning, an army intelligence analyst, was charged earlier in July over the leak of a classified video to WikiLeaks. [Al-Jazeera, 7/27]

Aug. 13: BBC News reported that a routine Afghan National Army (ANA) operation conducted by a 300-man battalion turned into a major confrontation when Taliban militants ambushed army personnel in Bad Pakh valley in northeast Afghanistan. Seven Afghan soldiers were killed and 14 were injured. ANA Commanders and NATO leaders said that the ANA, with over 130,000 soldiers, was increasingly able to operate militarily without support from coalition forces. [BBC, 8/13]

Aug. 15: The Afghan Ministry of Mines announced that an oilfield with an estimated 1.8 billion barrels of oil was discovered in north Afghanistan. An oil ministry spokesman indicated that these reserves and other mineral deposits would be offered up for development in the months that followed. [BBC, 8/16]

NATO forces in Afghanistan killed an al- Qa'ida cell leader as he attacked a police post in Kunduz province. He was also a Taliban commander. [Al-Arabiya, 8/16]

Aug. 24: Afghan and international forces killed about 40 Taliban insurgents and captured eight Taliban leaders east of Kabul as part of an operation to provide security for the upcoming parliamentary elections to be held in the region in September 2010. A large amount of explosive ordinances and weapons were destroyed. One International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldier was killed in the fighting. [AP, 8/24]

Aug. 28: Taliban gunmen killed parliamentary candidate Haji Abdul Manan as he walked from his home to a mosque. Also in anticipation of the forthcoming parliamentary election, at least ten campaign workers of Fawzia Gilani, a female candidate in the elections, were kidnapped by armed men three days previously. The motive of the kidnappers was unclear. Both incidents occurred in Herat province. [Al-Jazeera, 8/26, Reuters, 8/29]

Aug. 29: Exposure to poison gas, confirmed as containing toxic but non-fatal levels of organophosphates, hospitalized 45 students and four teachers from the Zabihullah Esmati High School in the Kart-e-Naw area of Kabul. The method of the poison gas' release was unknown. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid reached via phone said "We have not and will never take such action against innocent girls." A similar attack by unknown assailants was carried out on August 25 at another Kabul high school. …