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Hafez al-Assad Dies

June 30, 2000
Hafez al-Assad Dies

President Hafez al-Assad dies and is succeeded by his second son, Bashar.

The Pope Visits Syria

May 30, 2001
The Pope Visits Syria

Pope John Paul II visits Syria, becomes first pontiff to enter a mosque.

Syria Withdraws from Lebanon

June 30, 2001
Syria Withdraws from Lebanon

After Lebanese criticism of Syrian troop presence, soldiers vacate Beirut and redeploy in other parts of Lebanon.

Oil Pipeline Agreement

December 30, 2001
Oil Pipeline Agreement

Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan agree on a $1 billion oil pipeline project.

U.S. Threatens Syria

April 1, 2003
U.S. Threatens Syria

U.S. threatens sanctions for Syria, alleging that regime is developing chemical weapons and aiding Iraqi fugitives.

Assad Visits Turkey

January 8, 2004
Assad Visits Turkey

Assad visits Turkey, the first Syrian president to do so.

UN Calls on Syria to Withdraw from Lebanon

April 8, 2004
UN Calls on Syria to Withdraw from Lebanon

UN Security Council demands that Syria remove its troops from Lebanese borders. Syria refuses.

Syria Withdraws from Lebanon

April 11, 2005
Syria Withdraws from Lebanon

Damascus withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon.

Attack on U.S. Embassy

September 30, 2006
Attack on U.S. Embassy

Four gunmen attack the U.S. embassy in Damascus, but are unsuccessful. Three are killed, one is captured.

Iraq & Syria Restore Diplomatic Ties

November 25, 2006
Iraq & Syria Restore Diplomatic Ties

Syria and Iraq reestablish diplomatic relations after nearly 25 years.

Israel Bombs Syria

September 30, 2007
Israel Bombs Syria

Israel launches airstrike against northern Syria site said to be a nuclear facility.

Uranium Found in Damascus

June 30, 2009
Uranium Found in Damascus

The IAEA claims traces of undeclared uranium have been found at a reactor in Damascus.

Continued Sanctions on Syria

May 31, 2010
Continued Sanctions on Syria

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 Inaction

March 31, 2011
Assad Cracks Down amidst International Inaction

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 Plane

July 31, 2012
Syria Shoots Down Turkish Plane

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 Syria

August 31, 2012
Red-Line in Syria

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 Heights

May 31, 2013
Syrian Civil War Reaches Golan Heights

Israeli and Syrian troops exchange fire as Syrian civil war reaches Golan Heights.

Use of Chemical Weapons Established

September 30, 2013
Use of Chemical Weapons Established

UN weapons inspectors establish the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Syrian Chemical Weapons Destroyed

October 31, 2013
Syrian Chemical Weapons Destroyed

President Assad allows international inspectors to destroy chemical weapons, per terms of U.S.-Russian agreement.

ISIS Joins Syrian Civil War

December 31, 2013
ISIS Joins Syrian Civil War

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 Population

April 30, 2014
Refugees Are 1/4 of Lebanese Population

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 Caliphate

June 30, 2014
IS Declares Itself a Caliphate

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.”

ISIS Advances into Iraq

June 30, 2014
ISIS Advances into Iraq

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 Strikes

January 31, 2015
Israel Launches Air Strikes

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 Conflict

February 28, 2015
Jordan in Regional Conflict

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 Army

September 30, 2015
Russia Equips Assad’s Army

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 Plane

October 31, 2015
IS Bombs Russian Plane

Islamic State claims credit for bombing a Russian airliner while in mid-flight, killing 224.

November Paris Attacks

November 30, 2015
November Paris Attacks

Islamic State launches waves of terrorist attacks on Paris, killing 129.

Peace Talks Fail

January 31, 2016
Peace Talks Fail

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 Arbitrates

February 29, 2016
Russia Arbitrates

Russia takes on main arbitration role in peace talks between Syrian rebels and regime.

Partial Ceasefire

February 29, 2016
Partial Ceasefire

Partial ceasefire between government and rebel groups come into effect while peace talks begin.

ISIS Attack in Belgium

March 22, 2016
ISIS Attack in Belgium

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 Syria

March 31, 2016
Russia Vows Withdrawal from Syria

Russian government vows to pull its military out of Syria; Putin says they will continue air strikes in the region.

More Forces to Combat ISIS

April 16, 2016
More Forces to Combat ISIS

President Obama announces an increase in military personnel, including special forces, operating in Syria to combat the Islamic State.

Refugee Deportation

April 30, 2016
Refugee Deportation

Thousands of refugees are forcibly deported back to Syria from Turkey.

Al-Assad Vows to Reclaim Syria

June 7, 2016
Al-Assad Vows to Reclaim Syria

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 Routed

July 13, 2016
IS Routed

IS is publicly routed at the city of Kobani.

Reclaiming Sinjar

November 30, 2016
Reclaiming Sinjar

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 ceasefire

January 24, 2017
Iran, Russia, and Turkey agree to enforce Syria ceasefire

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 Shaykhun

April 8, 2017
U.S. missile strikes following alleged chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun

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 IS

May 9, 2017
U.S. arms Syrian Kurds in operation to retake Raqqa from IS

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 Raqqa

October 17, 2017
Islamic State driven out of Raqqa

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 State

November 3, 2017
Syrian army claims victory in Deir al-Zour over Islamic State

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 Ghouta

February 27, 2018
Government-led attack on Eastern Ghouta

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 Douma

April 13, 2018
U.S., Britain and France airstrikes following suspected chemical attack in Douma

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.

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