Hafez al-Assad DiesJune 30, 2000
President Hafez al-Assad dies and is succeeded by his second son, Bashar.
The Pope Visits SyriaMay 30, 2001
Pope John Paul II visits Syria, becomes first pontiff to enter a mosque.
Syria Withdraws from LebanonJune 30, 2001
After Lebanese criticism of Syrian troop presence, soldiers vacate Beirut and redeploy in other parts of Lebanon.
Oil Pipeline AgreementDecember 30, 2001
Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan agree on a $1 billion oil pipeline project.
U.S. Threatens SyriaApril 1, 2003
U.S. threatens sanctions for Syria, alleging that regime is developing chemical weapons and aiding Iraqi fugitives.
Assad Visits TurkeyJanuary 8, 2004
Assad visits Turkey, the first Syrian president to do so.
UN Calls on Syria to Withdraw from LebanonApril 8, 2004
UN Security Council demands that Syria remove its troops from Lebanese borders. Syria refuses.
Syria Withdraws from LebanonApril 11, 2005
Damascus withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon.
Attack on U.S. EmbassySeptember 30, 2006
Four gunmen attack the U.S. embassy in Damascus, but are unsuccessful. Three are killed, one is captured.
Iraq & Syria Restore Diplomatic TiesNovember 25, 2006
Syria and Iraq reestablish diplomatic relations after nearly 25 years.
Israel Bombs SyriaSeptember 30, 2007
Israel launches airstrike against northern Syria site said to be a nuclear facility.
Uranium Found in DamascusJune 30, 2009
The IAEA claims traces of undeclared uranium have been found at a reactor in Damascus.
Continued Sanctions on SyriaMay 31, 2010
U.S. continues sanctions, claiming that Syria aids terrorist groups, seeks weapons of mass destruction, and provides Hezbollah with Scud missiles in violation of UN resolutions.
Assad Cracks Down amidst International InactionMarch 31, 2011
Arab Spring demonstrators are assaulted by government, resulting in increased allegations of human rights violations. Russia and China veto UN Security Council resolutions to force President Assad to cease inhumane actions.
Syria Shoots Down Turkish PlaneJuly 31, 2012
Syria shoots down a Turkish plane and Turkey respond by stating that Syrian troops will be seen as a military threat if they approach Turkish borders.
Red-Line in SyriaAugust 31, 2012
Prime Minister Riad Hijab defects. U.S. President Obama warns that Syrian use of chemical weapons could lead to U.S. intervention, his so-called “red line”.
Syrian Civil War Reaches Golan HeightsMay 31, 2013
Israeli and Syrian troops exchange fire as Syrian civil war reaches Golan Heights.
Use of Chemical Weapons EstablishedSeptember 30, 2013
UN weapons inspectors establish the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Syrian Chemical Weapons DestroyedOctober 31, 2013
President Assad allows international inspectors to destroy chemical weapons, per terms of U.S.-Russian agreement.
ISIS Joins Syrian Civil WarDecember 31, 2013
Enters Syrian civil war and becomes known as Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or ISIS. Al-Qaeda’s Syrian front calls for ISIS to return to Iraq, and ISIS responds by attacking al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups.
Refugees Are 1/4 of Lebanese PopulationApril 30, 2014
UN reports that there are over 1 million Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon, meaning one in every four people living in Lebanon is now a refugee.
IS Declares Itself a CaliphateJune 30, 2014
On first day of Ramadan, ISIS declares itself as the world caliphate, “Islamic State.” It calls all Muslims to integrate, but millions of Muslims denounce the terrorist group and respond by referring to IS as “Daesh”, an Arabic acronym that is a pun on the Arabic word “to trample down and crush.” Roughly 25,000 jihadists join.
ISIS Advances into IraqJune 30, 2014
ISIS launches surprise attacks against the Iraqi Army and succeeds in capturing several northwestern key cities, including Mosul; repelled outside the capital city of Baghdad.
Israel Launches Air StrikesJanuary 31, 2015
Israel launches air strikes on Syrian side of Golan Heights, killing Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general. Clashes ensue along Israeli-Lebanese border.
Jordan in Regional ConflictFebruary 28, 2015
Jordan continues airstrikes against Daesh, and receives $113 million in EU loans to help Syrian refugee crisis. Jordan also joins the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Russia Equips Assad’s ArmySeptember 30, 2015
Russia militarily outfits Syrian government, launches airstrikes against Islamic State and Syrian rebel groups, and begins stationing ground personnel at Russian bases in Syria.
IS Bombs Russian PlaneOctober 31, 2015
Islamic State claims credit for bombing a Russian airliner while in mid-flight, killing 224.
November Paris AttacksNovember 30, 2015
Islamic State launches waves of terrorist attacks on Paris, killing 129.
Peace Talks FailJanuary 31, 2016
Through February, UN-backed peace talks fail, primarily because Syrian officials reject terms of a transitional government that would lead to the end of Assad presidency.
Russia ArbitratesFebruary 29, 2016
Russia takes on main arbitration role in peace talks between Syrian rebels and regime.
Partial CeasefireFebruary 29, 2016
Partial ceasefire between government and rebel groups come into effect while peace talks begin.
ISIS Attack in BelgiumMarch 22, 2016
The Brussels Airport and a metro station are bombed in coordinated attacks. 32 people and three attackers are killed and over 300 are wounded. The Islamic State claims responsibility.
Russia Vows Withdrawal from SyriaMarch 31, 2016
Russian government vows to pull its military out of Syria; Putin says they will continue air strikes in the region.
More Forces to Combat ISISApril 16, 2016
President Obama announces an increase in military personnel, including special forces, operating in Syria to combat the Islamic State.
Refugee DeportationApril 30, 2016
Thousands of refugees are forcibly deported back to Syria from Turkey.
Al-Assad Vows to Reclaim SyriaJune 7, 2016
Bashar al-Assad declares that the Syrian government will reclaim “every inch” of the territory it has lost in the Civil War. This is in direct contradiction with international plans for humanitarian relief effort and peaceful transition of power.
IS RoutedJuly 13, 2016
IS is publicly routed at the city of Kobani.
Reclaiming SinjarNovember 30, 2016
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters reclaim city of Sinjar from IS; Sinjar is a border connecting Iraq and Syria.
Iran, Russia, and Turkey agree to enforce Syria ceasefireJanuary 24, 2017
Following two days of talks over the Syrian civil war, Iran, Russia, and Turkey agree to enforce a fragile partial cease-fire. Neither the Syrian government nor the rebel fighters signed the agreement.
U.S. missile strikes following alleged chemical attack in Khan ShaykhunApril 8, 2017
More than 80 people were killed in a suspected chemical attack in the town of Khan Shaykun in northwestern Syria on Tuesday, April 4. On Thursday, April 6, President Trump ordered for 59 tomahawk missiles to be fired at Al Shayrat airfield.
U.S. arms Syrian Kurds in operation to retake Raqqa from ISMay 9, 2017
Despite opposition from Turkey, President Trump approved supplying arms to Kurdish YPG fighters in order to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State.
Islamic State driven out of RaqqaOctober 17, 2017
United States-backed militias took Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State. The Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias supported by a United States alliance, had been fighting in Raqqa since June of 2017.
Syrian army claims victory in Deir al-Zour over Islamic StateNovember 3, 2017
The Syrian government recaptured the eastern city of Deir al-Zour, one of the Islamic State’s last remaining strongholds inside of the country.
Government-led attack on Eastern GhoutaFebruary 27, 2018
The Syrian government led airstrikes in rebel-held city of Eastern Ghouta just hours after a UN aid envoy left the area.
U.S., Britain and France airstrikes following suspected chemical attack in DoumaApril 13, 2018
The United States and European allies launch airstrikes on Syrian research, storage, and military targets aimed at punishing President Bashar al-Assad for suspected chemical attacks in Douma, which killed more than 40 people.