Syria Timeline: (1961 to date) — From Ba’ath takeover to the uprising

July 06, 2012 03:22 pm | Updated November 27, 2021 06:56 pm IST

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, second left, prays during Eid al-Adha prayer at a mosque in Damascus, Syria, on Saturday Oct. 4, 2014. Assad has made a rare public appearance by attending prayers at a mosque in the capital, marking the beginning of the important Muslim holiday. (AP Photo/SANA)

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, second left, prays during Eid al-Adha prayer at a mosque in Damascus, Syria, on Saturday Oct. 4, 2014. Assad has made a rare public appearance by attending prayers at a mosque in the capital, marking the beginning of the important Muslim holiday. (AP Photo/SANA)

> Syria Timeline: (1920-1960) — French mandate to merger with Egypt

Ba’ath takeover


Following another military coup led by Abd al-Karim al-Nahlawi September 28, 1961 Syria secedes, re-establishing itself as the Syrian Arab Republic

Several other overthrows and end in a coup on March 8, 1963 engineered by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, just a month after the party’s Iraq version took reins in Baghdad

Members of the Ba'ath Party, which has been active in Syria and other Arab countries since the late 1940s, dominate new Cabinet


A group of army officers on February 23 carry out a successful intra-Ba’ath overthrow, jails President Amin Hafiz and abrogate a provisional constitution

Coup creates a rift between a pan-Arab Ba’ath and a regionalist one; group installs a civilian Ba'ath government on March 1

Conflict over the cultivation of disputed lands sparks into aerial clashes between Israel and Syria in April


Syria joins war as Israel launches strikes on Egypt

Syria loses control of the entire Golan Heights at the end of the six-day war


On November 13, Minister of Defence Hafez al-Assad effects a bloodless coup following a rift in Ba’ath leadership and thus begins the near-complete Ba'ath domination of the country’s affairs till date


Hafez al-Assad consolidates power through Ba'ath-nominated legislature

“National referendum” in March 1972 confirms him as President for a seven-year term

In March 1973, a new Syrian constitution goes into effect, defining Syria as a secular socialist state with Islam as the majority religion

On October 6, 1973, Syria and Egypt begin the Yom Kippur War, only to taste defeat once again and allowing Israel into Syrian territory beyond the 1967 boundary

Golan Heights is still under Israeli occupation

Invasion of Lebanon


Syria invades Lebanon amidst and gets involved in the bloody civil war and begins the thirty-year military occupation.


Hafez al-Assad government crushes uprising led by Muslim Brotherhood-inspired Sunnis in Hama, leaving between 10,000 and 25,000 people either dead or wounded. Sunnis object to rule by the “heretical” Alawite sect, to which the al-Assad family belongs


Lebanese civil war ends in 1990, after the Syrian-sponsored Taif Agreement

Syrias backing of the U.S. coalition in Gulf War I marks a watershed in its ties with the West

Hafez al-Assad dies


Hafez al-Assad dies on June 10, after 30 years in power

Parliament amends Constitution, reducing the minimum age of the President from 40 to 34, allowing Hafez al-Assad’s son Bashar to take over

Bashar al-Assad becomes President after a referendum in which he ran unopposed, garnering 97.29% of the vote

Damascus Spring


Bashar al-Assad’s takeover inspires hopes for reform; an intense political and social debate dubbed “Damascus Spring” took place from July 2000 to August 2001

“Damascus Spring” ends in August 2001 with the arrest and imprisonment of leading activists who had called for democratic elections


Syria withdraws forces in April as the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was blamed on Damascus

Syrian uprising


Hasan Ali Akleh, inspired Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi’s suicide protest, set himself on fire January 26, effectively triggering the events now collectively called as Syrian uprising. in the same way had in Tunis on 17 December 2010.

On February 3, activists, through Facebook and Twitter, call for a “Day of Rage” from February 4-5; Hundreds march in Hasan Ali Akleh’s hometown Al-Hasakah, but Syrian security forces disperse the protest and arrest dozens

On March 15, simultaneous demonstrations take place in major cities; Daraa becomes focal point of the uprising

On March 25, at least 20 protesters were reported killed in Daraa as over 100,000 take part in a protest

Protests spread to other cities, including Homs, Hama, Baniyas, Jassem, Aleppo, Damascus and Latakia; toll crosses 70

On March 27, government announces release of 200 political prisoners

Uprising intensifies in April; scores of protesters get killed at the hands of security forces; rift in the ranks of security forces surface; U.S. imposes sanctions against Syria

On April 22, sharpshooters kill 112 demonstrators during anti-government protests across the country, activists say, calling it the Good Friday Massacre. The day is the bloodiest since the protests began.

In May, Syrian army enters Baniyas, Hama, Homs, Talkalakh, Latakia, the Al-Midan and Douma districts of Damascus, and several other towns

Forces continue the siege of Daraa throughout June

On June 6, 120 security force members are killed in the northern town of Jisr al-Shughour, according to government, which attributes the deaths to extremists. Opposition activists in exile claim the soldiers were shot by government loyalist troops for refusing to open fire on civilians.

On June 20, Bashar al-Assad promises reforms, new parliamentary elections greater freedoms

On June 30, large protests erupt in Syria's second largest city Aleppo

In mid-July, pro-government protesters attack U.S. and French embassies in Damascus

On July 31, security forces kill at least 136 in Hama

Arab League and several Gulf Cooperation Council member states led by Saudi Arabia condemn the Syrian government in August; Syrian Navy joins offensive and killings continue; on August 30, thousands demonstrate in Homs, Daraa and Damascus, security forces kill nine people marring the , Eid ul-Fitr celebrations

Gunmen assassinate Kurdish rights activist Mishaal al-Tammo in October; activists blame Syrian government

On November 3, government accepts an Arab League peace plan, but continues crackdown

On December 19, security forces kill up to 70 army defectors as they were deserting military posts near the Turkish border

On December 23, >suicide bombs hit security facilities in Damascus, killing at least 40; regime blames it on al-Qaeda


On January 11, a mortar attack on a pro-regime rally in Homs kills a French journalist and seven others

On February 1, Free Syrian army claims “50 per cent of Syrian territory is no longer under the control of the regime”

On February 4, Syrian forces unleash a barrage of mortars and artillery in >Homs killing more than 200 people

On February 10, powerful bombings in Syria's most populous city >Aleppo expand conflict

On February 22, at least 57 die across the country, most of them in Homs; Two >western journalists are killed in a shelling attack | Veteran reporter >Marie Colvin killed

On March 17, three bomb attacks on government buildings in Damascus claim more than 30 lives; Assad regime blames “terrorists.”

On April 12, the Syrian government and the Free Syrian Army enter a U.N.-mediated ceasefire period; By April 15, reports of ceasefire violations emerge

On April 21, U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2043 as basis for the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) for an initial 90-day period

On April 23, at least 60 killed in a single day as >violence continues unabated

On April 25, more than 100 people are reported by opposition activists to have been killed across the country; in Hama city alone, 71 deaths are counted after a rocket strikes after dark

On May 1, U.N. blames both sides for ceasefire violation

On May 10, between 55 and 70 die in a >bomb attack in front of a military intelligence building in Damascus; government says the blast is the work of two suicide bombers

On May 25, more than 100 die as two opposition-controlled villages in the Houla region of Syria come under attack; regime denies role in >Houla massacre

On May 30, Free Syrian Army sets a 48-hour deadline for Bashar al-Assad to abide by an international peace plan to end violence, marking the end of the ceasefire; 57 soldiers die in Syria, the largest number of casualties the military has suffered in a single day since the start of the uprising

On June 6, 78 civilians die in al-Qubair after government shelling; U.N. observers rush to probe the >al-Qubair massacre , but retreat as they face roadblock and small arms fire

On June 22, Syria shoots down a Turkish fighter jet was shot down by Syrian government forces; Turkey vows retaliation and NATO condemns act

On June 27, Syrian opposition fighters attack a high-profile military facility and a pro-regime TV station near Damascus; Bashar al-Assad announces that his country is at war

On June 30, accepts international envoy Kofi Annan’s plan that calls for the creation of a transitional government; both the regime and the opposition reject the plan

On July 3, Human Rights Watch in a report says Syria has made torture a state policy against civilians

On July 6, Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass, a member of the elite Republican Guards and a son of a former defence minister, >abandons Bashar al-Assad’s regime ; Friends of Syria conference in Paris

On July 12, Syria fires >defected Ambassador to Iraq

On July 13, 200 >massacred in Hama , claim Syrian activists

On July 18, suicide bomber >kills Defence Minister , his deputy, and seriously injured several other top security officials including the Interior Minister and the intelligence chief

On July 19, >Russia and China veto a new U.N. Security Council resolution that would have slapped new sanctions against President Bashar Assad’s regime; India and 10 other countries vote in favour

On July 20, Rebels launch all-out assault for control of Aleppo

On July 23, Syria warns of >chemical weapons against “foreign aggression” | Arab League calls upon Bashar al-Assad to step down

On August 2, 2012, >Kofi Annan resigns as Syria envoy

On August 3, 2012, U.N. General Assembly >condemns Syria violence

On August 5, 2012, Syria Premier >defects citing ‘genocide’

On August 9, 2012, Bashar Assad appoints >new Prime Minister | Syrian forces loosen rebel hold in >Aleppo

On August 15, 2012, 3 killed in >blast near Damascus hotel used by U.N. | U.N. >panel blames Syrian regime for Houla massacre

On August 17, 2012, U.N. ends >observer mission in Syria, to set up liaison office

On August 26, 2012, >Syrian VP appears in public, ending defection rumour

On August 29, 2012, Prepare for the long haul, Assad >tells Syrians

On September 4, 2012, 100,000 people >fled Syria in August: U.N.

On September 7, 2012, >France to fund opposition in Syria

On September 11, 2012, >new quartet of Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran takes stage to work for Syria solution | >Editorial

On September 11, 2012, WikiLeaks >releases Syrian foreign ministry e-mails

On September 15, 2012, U.N. envoy warns >Syria conflict threat to world peace

On September 18, 2012, >Syria “contact group” meets in Cairo

On September 22, 2012, Free Syrian Army >shifts command from Turkey to Syria

On September 28, 2012, Syrian rebels launch >“decisive battle” for Aleppo

On October 3, 2012, >Suicide bombings claim several lives in Aleppo

On October 4, 2012, >Cross-border mortar fire from Syria kills five civilians in Turkey | >U.N. condemns

On October 10, 2012, Turkish fighter jets force a Syrian aircraft to land in Ankara | Turkey >accused of "air piracy"

On October 19, 2012, Car blast kills Lebanon’s intelligence chief in Beirut | Syria shadow over >Beirut assassination

On October 26, 2012, Eid ceasefire in >Syria breached , says Opposition

On October 31, 2012, government >troops, rebels battle in northern Syria: activists

On November 3, 2012, Syria’s rebels >launch offensive on military air base

On November 12, 2012, t >epid response to U.S. move

On November 13, 2012, France >recognises National Syrian Coalition | >Editorial: Coalition of the helpless

On November 18, 2012, Iran holds >Syria reconciliation conference

On November, 20, 2012, Britain officially >recognises Syrian opposition

On November 28, 2012, Damascus car blasts kill 34

On December 11, 2012, U.S. recognises Syrian rebels | >Recognition draws protests

On January 6, 2013, Assad announces new >peace plan

On January 15, 2013, blasts target a >university campus in Aleppo leaving scores dead | >Toll rises

On January 30, 2013, >Israel strikes inside Syria

On February 5, 2013, >Syrian rebels report intense fighting near Jordan

On February 5, 2013, >Syrian opposition chief renews dialogue offer

On February 6, 2013, >Syrian lawmaker rejects conditions for peace talks

On February 21, 2013, >Damascus car bomb targets ruling party HQ, Russian embassy

On March 22, 2013, >Suicide bombing kills top pro-Assad preacher

Till March 2013, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that fatalities could be as high as 120,000, much greater than estimates from other organisations. The group recorded over 6,000 deaths in March 2013 alone, the deadliest month since the uprising began. >Graphic: Syrian death toll since uprising began .

On April 9, 2013, Iraqi al-Qaeda, Syrian militants >announce merger.

On April 11, 2013, >Human Rights Watch says 4,300 civilians killed in Syrian airstrikes.

On April 13, 2013, reports emerge that U.N. and Arab League envoy on Syria >Lakhdar Brahimi may quit

On April 29, 2013, Syrian PM escapes >assassination attempt | Opinion: >The road to Damascus

On May 4, 2013, >Israel confirms airstrike on Syria | Indian figures in >Syrian sanctions-busting probe in America

On May 5, 2013, >Israeli warplanes hit Damascus

On May 8, 2013, U.S., Russia >agree on Syria peace process | Editorial: >The Levant’s last chance | Opinion: >Beware the lemming impulse

On May 11, 2013, 43 die in >Turkey car bombings near Syria | Syria >denies involvement

On May 17, 2013, Obama >rules out unilateral action on Syria | Moscow confirms >weapons supply to Syria | >HRW says it found government torture rooms | Russia’s >game-changing gambit in Syria

On May 24, 2013, Syria >agrees to attend Geneva peace conference

On May 30, 2013, Assad says Syria has first batch of >S-300s

On May 30, 2013, >Syrian opposition says it won’t participate in Geneva talks

On June 5, 2013, Syrian Army >captures Qusair

On June 8, 2013: Syrian >jets fire rockets into eastern Lebanon | >A Syrian fire that could consume all

On June 12, 2013, Austrian U.N. peacekeepers move out from Golan Heights

On June 13, 2013, U.S. decides to send >military aid to Syrian rebels after its intelligence services confirmed that chemical weapons have been used in the conflict | 93,000 >killed in Syrian conflict, says U.N.

On June 14, 2013, >US claims on Syria ‘unconvincing’, says Russia

On June 18, 2013, >Russia blocks call for Assad ouster at G8

On June 21, 2013, 8 >held in Spain on suspicion of recruiting Syria fighters

On June 29, 2013, Syrian jets >pound rebel positions in Homs

On July 4, 2013, Syrian National Coalition meets in Istanbul | Opposition failed to oust regime, says >Assad

On July 6, 2013, Syrian National Coalition elects >Ahmad al-Jarba as its new leader

On July 12, 2013, Al-Qaeda linked gunmen >kill Free Syrian Army commander

On July 13, 2013, >Pakistani Taliban sets up base in Syria, according to a BBC report

On July 15, 2013, A >car bomb exploded outside the police headquarters in a town north of the Syrian capital, killing at least 13 people including 10 policemen.

On July 20, 2013, >Syrian government forces bombed a strategic rebel town in the country’s north for the third straight day on Saturday, pounding it with airstrikes that killed at least three people, activists said.

On July 24, 2013, US >Congress clears way for arms shipments to Syrian rebels | >Rape, violence in Syrian refugee camps

On July 29, 2013, Syrian Army >retrieves key Homs area from rebels

On August 5, 2013, >Syrian rebels take villages in regime's heartland

On August 7, 2013, >Syrian troop ambush kills 62 rebels near Damascus

On August 8, 2013, >rebels shell Damascus area as Assad attends prayers

On August 17, 2013, gunmen kill 11 people, >mostly Christians , in central Syria

On August 20, 2013, Syrian Kurds battle >al-Qaeda-linked rebel faction

On August 21, 2013, Syrian activists claim >gas attack , shelling by troops leaving hundreds dead | >In the Levant, Arab Spring’s bitter end

On August 23, 2013, U.N. says Syrian >child refugees tops 1 million mark

On August 24, 2013, >Syria accuses rebels of using chemical weapons | >Attacking Syria is a bad idea

On August 28, 2013, >U.N. envoy to Syria says chemical 'substance' used

On August 28, 2013, >Arab League opposes military attack on Syria | >West Asia opposes strikes on Syria | >Military action will destabilise region: Russia | >The waning of American hegemony

On September 3, 2013, >Israel fires test missile in Mediterranean Sea | Israeli missile tests part of >psychological warfare

On September 4, 2013, U.S. >resolution on Syria sets 60-day deadline

On September 5, 2013, U.S. >Senate panel votes to authorise force in Syria

On September 6, 2013, in oblique reference to Iraq, >Manmohan says need to be certain about facts on Syria | >U.S. orders diplomats out of Lebanon | >Russia will help if Syria is attacked, says Putin

On September 7, 2013, >Europe urges U.S. to delay action in Syria

On September 9, 2013, >Moscow seizes Kerry’s offer on Syrian stockpiles; U.S. terms Kerry's London remark a rhetorical phrase | >Obama tries to persuade war-weary public on Syria, Assad warns of retaliation | >Russia presses U.N. to report on Syria attack risks

On September 10, 2013, >Obama agrees to U.N. discussion on Syria | >Syria plan will be ready soon: Russia | >India supports Russia’s Syria plan | Cautious >Obama delays Syria strike plan

On September 11, 2013, >Cautious Obama delays strike plan | >U.N. probe reveals 8 massacres by Syria regime, 1 by rebels | >Endgame in Syria, for now | Syria >agrees to sign Chemical Weapons Convention

On September 12, 2013, >Putin warns U.S. against unilateral military strike on Syria

On September 14, 2013, U.S., Russia >reach deal on Syrian chemical weapons

On September 17, 2013, >U.N. report says chemical weapons used in Syria | >Cracks appear between America, Russia | Border tensions flare as >Turkey shoots down Syrian helicopter

On September 18, 2013, Syria hands over >‘material’ to Russia implicating rebels

On September 19, 2013, >Assad says one year to destroy Syrian chemical weapons | >U.N. ignored evidence presented by Syria: Russia

On September 20, 2013, rival >Syria rebel groups agree ceasefire | >Rouhani offers to mediate Syria talks

On September 21, 2013, >Syria sends watchdog chemical weapons inventory

On September 25, 2013, >Syrian rebels slam Western-backed opposition

On September 28, 2013, >U.N. votes to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons

On October 2, 2013, experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons begin >Syria mission

On October 6, 2013, >U.N. inspectors begins destruction of Syrian chemical weapons

On October 14, 2013, Syria officially >joins U.N. Chemical Weapons Convention

On October 17, 2013, >Syria talks on November 23-24 , RIA Novosti quotes Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil as saying

On October 22, 2013, >Western-Arab Foreign Ministers hold talks in London with Syrian opposition

On October 24, 2013, >Syria releases 61 women detainees | >Al-Qaeda’s corridor through Syria

On October 25, 2013, >Norway rejects U.S. request to destroy Syria weapons

On October 27, 2013, >Syria submits plan for ending arsenal , says chemical arms watchdog

On October 30, 2013, Arab League-U.N. envoy >Lakhdar Brahimi holds talks with Assad | >Syria polio outbreak could be from Pakistan: WHO sources | Calls for >“vaccination ceasefire” in Syria grow louder

On October 31, 2013, >Syria destroys equipment used to make chemical weapons

On November 1, 2013, >Syria peace envoy renews call for talks

On November 8, 2013, >Syrian opposition refuses Moscow talks | >Assad’s gambit

On November 18, 2013, Key rebel leader >Abdul-Qadir Saleh , founder of the Tawhid Brigade, dies of wounds

On November 23, 2013, >Syrian Minister survives assassination attempt | >The Great Syrian Risk Game

On November 25, 2013, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s office says the >U.N.-Syria peace talks would take place on January 22

On November 26, 2013, >Syria Opposition says no future role for Assad

On December 2, 2013, U.N. says Syria crimes evidence ‘indicates’ >Assad role

On December 16, 2013, U.N. says >Syria needs $ 6.5 billion aid in 2014

On December 18, 2013, >Britain accuses Syria of ‘murdering’ Indian-origin doctor

On January 8, 2014, >Syrian rebels seize al-Qaeda base in Aleppo

On January 17, 2014, Syria >agrees to prisoner swap , ceasefire

On January 20, 2014, U.N. >withdraws Iran invitation to Syria talks | >Russia forges axis with Iran, Syria

On January 22, 2014, >Syria peace conference begins | >U.S. slams Syrian diplomat for speech at peace talks

On January 31, 2014, Week-long >Syria talks end without results

On February 3, 2014, Al-Qaeda >disassociates itself from Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant rebels in Syria

On February 5, 2014, Syria >misses interim chemical weapons deadline

On February 7, 2014, Syrian government >decides to take part in peace talks

On February 10, 2014, Syria peace talks >resume in Geneva

On February 11, 2014, >Russia says West is trying to derail Syria peace talks

On February 13, 2014, >Russia tables rival Syria resolution | >Russia, US blame game heightens tensions in Syria | Opinion: >Syrian rebels or international terrorists?

On February 28, 2014, >Syrian jets strike areas in Lebanon

On March 27, 2014, >Watchdog says 49% of chemicals meant for weapons removed in Syria

On April 16, 2014, >Jordanian air force destroys Syrian armoured vehicles

On April 28, 2014, Syria’s Parliament Speaker says >Bashar Assad has declared candidacy for Presidential polls

On May 2, 2014, Syrian government, rebels reach >ceasefire in Homs | >U.K. to resume non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels

On June 4, 2014, >Assad wins presidential vote in landslide

On June 17, 2014, U.N. says, Iraq and Syria are >pushing West Asia into regional war

On June 18, 2014, 12 killed in >Syrian helicopter attack, says watchdog |

On June 20, 2014, Global >refugee count crosses 50 million, says U.N. With 6.5 million internally displaced and a further 2.5 million crossing borders, the situation is especially dramatic in Syria, says UNHCR | Opinion: >A Syrian tragedy of many dimensions

On July 6, 2014, Syrian opposition >meets to elect new head

On July 14, 2014, >Clashes on Syria-Lebanon border kill several

On July 16, 2014, Syrian President >Assad sworn in for third term | Opinion: >Under the shadow of the Caliphate

On July 30, 2014, Syrian government still >using barrel bombs , says Human Rights Watch

On August 14, 2014, Syrian troops >seize contested Damascus suburb

On August 18, 2014, Syrian air force >strikes Islamic State positions in Raqqa killing 31 | Opinion: >Metastasis of the Islamic State

On August 22, 2014, >Syria civil war death toll tops 191,000, says UN | Islamic State jihadists turn their sights back on Syria

On August 29, 2014: >Obama tamps down prospect of strikes in Syria

On September 16, 2014, U.N. Human Rights Council >emphasises Assad role in Syria war crimes | >Obama’s Syrian dilemma

On September 22, 2014, Syria >condemns U.S. anti-terror coalition | U.S. >launches air strikes in Syria against IS

On September 25, 2014, U.S. >strikes Islamic State-controlled oil refineries in Syria | >War against the Islamic State

On October 3, 2014, Syria >condemns Turkish deployment inside its border as an aggression

On October 4, 2014, Assad >makes rare appearance amid Islamic State assault

October 9, 2014: Turkey, Kurd >tensions worry US in fight for Kobani

On October 13, 2014, US says >Turkey okays use of bases against militants

On October 20, 2014, after arms drop, >US coalition strikes Islamic State positions in Kobani | Opinion: >For clarity in Syria’s muddy politics

On October 23, 2014, activists say >U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria killed over 500

On October 29, 2014, Syrian >rebels enter Kobani from Turkey

On November 13, 2014, >IS, al-Qaeda reach accord in Syria | >Continent of the Islamic State | >He found his calling in Syria

On December 3, 2014, Islamic State >launches attack on Syrian air base | >Islamic State cedes little ground despite air strikes

Source : Wikipedia, The Hindu, DPA, AP

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