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

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

> Syria: Timeline part II — From Ba’ath takeover to Syria uprising

Source: Wikipedia , The Hindu reports

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 11:58:24 AM |

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