The Syrian Arab Republic (Al-Jumhūriyyah Al-‘Arabīyah As-Sūriyyah in Arabic) is the official name of modern day Syria, the land which could be as old as history itself. Its capital Damascus is arguably the oldest continuously inhabited in the world. Syria or Sham in Arabic is the seat of the Eblan civilisation of the third millennium B.C.
Syria came into being after the World War I as a French mandate. The new landmass was the largest Arab state to emerge from the formerly Ottoman-ruled areas.
Kingdom of Syria established by the Hashemite family’s Faisal I, who later became King of Iraq.
Faisal I’s rule ends in few months as French troops defeat his forces at the Battle of Maysalun.
Syria Put under a French mandate by the League of Nations
Revolt against French rule led by Sultan al-Atrash breaks out in the Druze Mountain, spreads to whole of Syria and even parts of Lebanon.
In August 23, al-Atrash declares revolution against France and rebels win several battles against the mandate
France mobilises its troops from Morocco and Senegal, regains many cities held by the lightly armed rebels. But rebellion lasts until 1927.
The French sentence al-Atrash to death, but he escapes to Jordan.
Syria and France sign treaty of independence in September. Hashim al-Atassi, Faisal I's Prime Minister, becomes President.
French Legislature refuses to ratify the treaty effectively nullifying it.
France’s defeat in World War II, puts Syria under Vichy France, a rebel French regime
British and official French forces occupy the country in July 1941.
Syria proclaims independence again in 1941, but its was not unrecognised by the world community
On January 1, 1944 it was recognised as an independent republic
Syrian nationalist groups and the British force French out of Syria
In April 1946, Syria gains independence as a Parliamentary Republic
Season of coups
Syria takes part in the Arab-Israeli War
Israel inflicts crushing defeat on Arab states, but Syria manages to keep Golan Heights and its old borders, dispute over which will haunt Israel-Syria ties for long
Country witnesses three coups in 1949. In March, Col. Husni al-Za'im leads arguably the first military overthrow of the Arab World since World War II
In the same year, Col. Sami al-Hinnawi leads another coup, but he himself was quickly deposed by Col. Adib Shishakli
Col. Shishakli’s rule that saw abolition of multiparty democracy ends with another coup
Parliamentary system gets restored, but military influence strips meaning civilian politics
Military and urban Sunni elite control power
Martial law declared during the Suez Crisis as Israel, Britain and France invade Egypt.
In November, Syria signs pact with the Soviet Union, gets planes, tanks, and other military equipment
Merger with Egypt
On February 1, Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatli and Egyptian President Gamal Abdal Nasser announced merger of the two states, creating the United Arab Republic
Source: Wikipedia, The Hindu reports