Syria Chronicle

[](;xNLx;Syria Chronicle is a timeline driven website, with histories tracing back to Mesopotamian times to give a deeply historical perspective that is often maligned. It will include condensed and include important aspects of Syria’s creation that include the Roman era, the Dark Ages, the Ottoman Empire, European colonialism, decolonization and the Arab-Israeli wars. For each of these historically salient events, we will curate the content we feel best explains, comments on or illustrates the full picture in a way that packages the course of events logically. We will rely heavily on visuals, but offer in depth analysis where it is suitable.;xNLx;;xNLx;To help put historical events in context, we are tapping international experts and journalists to help answer our big question. We aim to get as diverse perspectives as possible and present the many views and opinions on how and why the Syrian conflict developed over time.

1864-04-30 02:50:16

The Tanzimat Reforms

The Ottoman Empire institutes the Tanzimat reforms that divide the empire into administrative districts, establishing a Greater Syria encompassing modern day Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and parts of Iraq and Turkey.

1916-05-16 00:00:00

Sykes-Picot Agreement

At the height of the First World War, British diplomat Sir Mark Sykes and French Diplomat Francois Georges-Picot, along with support from the Russian Tsar, secretly negotiate an agreement to divide the remnants of the Ottoman Empire into separate French and British spheres of influence were the Ottoman Empire and its allies to lose the war. Sykes-Picot, however, was never fully implemented.

1920-04-26 09:01:04


The San Remo Conference in Italy puts Greater Syria under a French mandate. The French occupation begins and creates a de-facto federation of states that include Damascus, Aleppo, and Alawite, the nation of the Assad family. The Alawites secede from the Damascus- Aleppo union. Damascus and Aleppo, a major theater of the Syrian civil war, were historically two separate entities. Along with the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the San Remo Conference created the artificial borders of the Middle East today.

1925-11-18 19:05:59

The Great Syrian Revolt

1925 – Nationalist tensions spark The Great Syrian Revolt, led by Arab Druze leader and Syrian Nationalist Sultan Pasha al-Atrash. The revolt united Arabs, Druze, and Christians against a common enemy.

1930-05-14 00:00:00

Republic of Syria Declared

The Republic of Syria is declared, incorporating Damascus and Aleppo. France rejects the new republic’s constitution.

1936-09-27 09:01:04

Franco-Syrian Treaty of Independence

The Franco-Syrian Treaty of Independence is signed, granting a limited degree of autonomy to Syria. France maintains control of Syria’s economic affairs.

1940-05-10 09:01:04

Battle of France

France surrenders to Germany, placing Syria under the control of Axis Powers, via the Vichy French.

1941-06-08 00:00:00

Syria-Lebanon campaign

Allied forces defeat Vichy French in Syria, placing Syria under control of the Free French General Georges Catroux. Shortly thereafter, Catroux recognizes Syria's independence.

1946-04-17 00:00:00

Evacuation Day

After the last French soldier evacuated the country, Syria proclaims full independence.

1947-04-07 02:50:16

Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party - Founded

Founded by Michel Aflaq, Salah al-Din al-Bitar and Zaki al-Arsuzi, the Ba'ath Party originally urged a national liberation movement against France's occupation. The party was "nationalist, populist, socialist and revolutionary," and endured time to remain in control of Syria today.

1949-03-01 02:50:16


The first of ten military coups take place in Syria. Col. Husni al-Za'im comes to power. Not too long after, Col. Sami al-Hinnawi successfully carries out another coup, only to be deposed by Col. Adib Shishakli.

1958-02-22 02:50:16

United Arab Republic

The United Arab Republic between Syria and Egypt is established, putting an end to Syrian political parties, to the anger of Baathists, who were integral in the formation of the union.

1963-03-08 09:01:04

Coup D'état, Ba'ath party takes power

The military committee of the Ba'ath Party sucessfully overthrew Nazim al-Kudish. The Ba'ath Party's rule has gone unbroken until present day.

1966-02-23 10:14:46

Hafez al-Assad appointed defense minister

A power struggle between two factions within the Baath Party leads to another coup d’etat. Hafez al-Assad, Bashar al-Assad’s father, is appointed Defense Minister.

1967-06-09 10:14:46

Israel captures golan heights

Israel captures the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War.

1970-11-13 10:14:46

Hafez al-Assad comes to power

The Syrian Corrective Movement, a revolution against left-winged Baathists, brings Hafez al-Assad to power.

1973-10-06 10:14:46

Yom Kippur War

The Yom Kippur War, or the Ramadan War, begins. Egypt and Syria attack Israel but fail to recapture the Golan Heights or the Sinai Peninsula.

1976-06-01 00:00:00


Syrian army enters Lebanon, beginning a 30-year occupation.

1982-02-02 00:00:00


The Syrian Army kills tens of thousands in the city of Hama after Hafez al-Assad authorizes a 27-day siege against a Muslim Brotherhood uprising. The Brotherhood, a hardline conservative Islamic group, opposed the secular, “un-Islamic” nationalism of the Baathist party.

1990-08-02 10:14:46

Iraq Invades Kuwait

Syria sides with the United States and its allies against Saddam Hussein. Hussein and Assad’s Baathist parties remained at odds, dating back to the 1963 coup in Syria.

1994-01-21 06:48:03

Al-Assad's Chosen Successor Dies

Hafez al-Assad's first son, Bassel, dies in a car crash. He was widely believed to have been his father's chosen successor.

2000-06-24 02:50:16

Hafez al-Assad Dies

Hafez al-Assad dies. His son, Bashar al-Assad, takes power.

2000-06-25 00:00:00

The Damascus Spring

After the death of Hafez al-Assad, political forums begin to emerge to discuss the future political course of Syria. Intellectuals called for sweeping reforms. The intellectual uprising was stifled by mass arrests.

2002-05-08 00:00:00

Syria Added to "Axis of Evil"

Syria is included in the U.S. President George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil” list.

2005-02-14 02:50:16

Lebanon's Prime Minister Dies

Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, who strongly opposed Syria’s occupation of Lebanon, is assassinated. A subsequent United Nations investigation and resolution forced Syria to end its occupation.

2007-09-06 00:00:00


Israel carries out an aerial strike against a site in northern Syria that it said was a nuclear facility under construction. In 2011, the UN's IAEA nuclear watchdog reports Syria to the UN Security Council over its alleged covert nuclear program reactor program at the site.

2011-02-01 00:00:00

Tunisia, Egypt & Libya

Uprisings are fully underway in Tunisia and Egypt, with mass protests that bring down decades-old authoritarian regimes. Libya enters the initial phases of its civil war.

2011-03-15 00:00:00

"The Day Of rage"

The “Arab Spring” makes its way to Syria with a popular uprising taking root in the southern city of Daara before spreading to other cities in “The Day of Rage.” Youths are arrested for graffiti demanding the downfall of the regime. Hundreds stage a protest in the capital, Damascus, and in Aleppo calling for sweeping reforms.

2011-03-18 02:50:16

Uprisings are Met with Brutal Force

Following uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, protests gather pace in Damascus, Deraa and Homs, prompting a brutal army crackdown.

2011-03-25 00:00:00

Syrian Troops Open Fire

The Syrian army opens fire on protesters in several cities, in one of the first signs of widespread violence.

2011-04-15 00:00:00

Largest Protest takes place

Tens of thousands of protests flood the streets of several cities, including Daara, Qamishli, Homs, and a Damascus suburb in the largest protest in the country to date. Pro-government protesters react, taking to the streets as well.

2011-04-25 00:00:00

Assault on Daara

The Syrian military’s all-out assault on Daara. Thousands of soldiers, backed by tanks and sniper fire, siege the city, cutting of electricity, power and phone lines. According to the Associated Press, “At least 11 people are killed and 14 others lay in the streets, either dead or gravely wounded.”

2011-05-18 00:00:00


Western powers impose sanctions on Assad and prominent Syrian officials for human rights abuses, freezing assets, particularly financial sources.

2011-06-07 00:00:00

120 Syrian Government Troops Killed, Prompting Punishing Retaliation

120 government troops are killed in the northern town of Jisr al-Shughour, prompting a mutiny of Syrian soldiers. Troops besiege the town causing more than 10,000 refugees to flee to Turkey.

2011-08-05 00:00:00

Assault on Hama

During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Syrian government forces launch a brutal assault against the city of Hama, the same city attacked in 1982 by Hafez al-Assad that killed thousands. Heavy shelling was reported, with bodies strewn across city streets. U.S. President calls the assault "horrifying," according to the Associated Press.

2011-10-04 00:00:00

Russia and China back Syrian Regime

Russia and China veto a Western-sponsored U.N. security council resolution calling for sanctions if the Syrian regime fails to stop its assault on civilians. It came only a few weeks after the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and the European Union called for Bashar al-Assad to abdicate power.

2011-11-27 00:00:00

Arab Leagues Turns on Syria

After suspending Syria's membership, the Arab League approves sanctions against Damascus in a rare move against a member state.

2011-12-23 00:00:00

First Suicide Attacks in Syrian Civil War

Two powerful suicide car bombs explode outside Syrian security agencies, killing at least 44 people in the first suicide attacks in the conflict. The bombings have all the hallmarks of an Al-Qaeda attack, underlining the factionalized nature of the unrest.

2012-02-03 00:00:00

Massacre in Homs

217 people, many of them women and children are massacred by government security forces in the Syrian city of Homs on the eve of a UN vote on the removal of Bashar Al-Assad. This is the first attack in a two-month siege on the city, and tanks are brought in on February 8.

2012-02-04 00:00:00

UN Resolution blocked in Security council

Russia and China veto a draft resolution in the United Nations Security Council that demands all Syrian government and opposition parties to stop violence and reprisals immediately.

2012-07-18 00:00:00

Three Security Chiefs killed in suicide bombing

Free Syria Army blows up three security chiefs (Assad's brother-in-law among them) in Damascus and seizes Aleppo in the north.

2012-08-18 00:00:00

Brahimi replaces Annan

Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi is appointed as the new UN-Arab League envoy to Syria after the resignation of Kofi Annan.

2012-11-12 00:00:00

National Coalition formed by opposition

Major opposition forces unite to form the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. Arab League stops short of full recognition, while Islamist militias in Aleppo refuse to join.

2013-01-29 00:00:00

Aleppo Massacre

An estimated 80 men and boys are found dead on Jan. 29 along a river bank in Aleppo. Many of them were abducted, bound and shot execution-style,with single gunshot wounds to the head according to opposition activists and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

2013-03-06 02:50:16

1 Million Refugees

The number of Syrian refugees passes the 1 million mark, as reported by the United Nations

2013-04-25 02:50:16

Evidence of Chemical Weapons

U.S. intelligence indicates "with varying degrees of confidence" that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons.

2013-05-27 02:50:16

EU Arms Embargo Lifted

European Union lifts the arms embargo on the Syrian opposition, allowing France and the UK to supply rebel groups with weapons. Other sanctions remain.

2013-06-13 02:50:16

'Red Line' Officially Crossed: US SENDS weapons

The White House concluded that Assad's government used chemical weapons (sarin) against the rebels. Obama decides to supply military support.

2013-07-25 00:00:00

More than 100,000 Dead

After 2.5 years of raging conflict, the United Nations reports that over 100,000 have died.

2013-08-21 02:50:16

Assad Regime Accused of Civilian Chemical Attack

In the conflict's "worst atrocity," opposition forces accuse the government of killing nearly 1,500 suburban civilians in a chemical weapons attack.

Syria Chronicle

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