February 2, Syrian opposition groups are using Facebook and Twitter sites to call for a “day of rage” protest in the country Friday NBC news
February 17, a demonstration in protest of a police beating of a local shop keeper saw to protesters chanting “the Syrian people will not be humiliated.” Digital Journal
February 23, Syrian MP calls for review of harsh emergency laws. The National
March 6, a dozen of young boys were arrested in the city of Daraa for writing the slogan “the people want to overthrow the regime,” on walls across the city. The boys were beaten and tortured in prison. Digital Journal
March 7, 13 political prisoners went on a hunger strike protesting “political detentions and oppression,” in their country demanding the implementation of civil and political rights. Digital Journal
March 10, Dozens of jailed Kurds in Syria started a hunger strike on Thursday in solidarity with rights activists who have mounted the same action in a prison near Damascus, a rights group said. AFP
March 12, Syrian Kurds protested in al-Qamishli and in al-Hasakah.
March 15, Hundreds of Syrians have staged a rare protest in the capital, Damascus, calling for democratic reforms and the release of all political prisoners. BBC
March 16, Simultaneous demonstrations took place in major cities across Syria on Wednesday. Sources inside Syria report that thousands of protestors gathered in Aleppo, Al-Hassakah, Daraa, Deir ez-Zor, and Hama starting at 11 a.m. There were some clashes with security, according to reports from dissident groups. The Epoch Times
March 16, 2011 A female-led sit-in in Damascus demanded the release of prisoners unfairly jailed.
March 18, after Islamic Friday prayers, protests for freedom and democracy were held in four cities. At least three protesters have been shot dead in the south Syrian city of Deraa as security forces clamped down on a protest rally. BBC
March19, More than 20,000 people marched Saturday in the southern Syrian town of Dara’a in funerals for protesters killed in demonstrations the day before, and the police used truncheons and tear gas to disperse the mourners. NYT
March 20, Mr. Assad sent a delegation to offer condolences to the families of those killed in the clashes in Dara’a, including the deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, and Tamer al-Hajeh, the minister of local administration. NYT
March 21, Hundreds of people demonstrated against the Syrian government in the town of Jassem on Monday, activists said, as unrest spread in southern Syria. Yalibnan
March 22, Hundreds of Syrian protesters turn out in Deraa, with reports of four dead in attack by security forces on Omari mosque. The Guardian
March 23, At least six were killed in the early morning attack on the al-Omari mosque in the southern agricultural city of Daraa, where protesters have taken to the streets in calls for reforms and political freedoms, witnesses said. Suntimes
March 24, About 20,000 people chanting freedom slogans march at funerals in Daraa for protesters killed by security forces. Aljazeera
March 25, Protesters in the Syrian city of Deraa shouted slogans on Friday denouncing Maher al-Assad, brother of the Syrian president and head of the Republican Guard, a Reuters witness said. Reuters
March 26, The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 200 inmates, mostly Islamists, were freed from Damascus’ Saidnaya prison. BBC
March 27, The US secretary of state, Hilary Clinton, has said the US will not intervene in Syria in the way it has in Libya. The Guardian
March 29, Tens of thousands are demonstrating in cities across Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad, who has faced a wave of unrest in recent days. BBC
March 30, In a much-anticipated speech on Wednesday, his first since the protests erupted, president Assad failed to lift almost 50 years of emergency rule. Aljazeera
March 31, Antigovernment protesters in Syria, unsatisfied with yet more vague promises of reform from President Bashar al-Assad, marched by the thousands in numerous cities on Friday. NYT
April 1, Protests continue across Syria. CNN
April 3, President Bashar al-Assad dismisses his cabinet to appease calls for change. Al-Assad appoints a new prime minister, Adel Safar. CNN
April 6, Al-Assad grants citizenship to stateless Kurds residing in Syria. CNN
April 11, Human rights group, Insan, says at least 117 activists, intellectuals, and anti-government supporters were arrested. CNN
April 21, Al-Assad ends Syria’s 48-year state of emergency. He also issues decrees to abolish the Supreme State Security Court and regulate the right to peaceful demonstrations. CNN
April 22, “The Great Friday” protests. In an invitation to Christians to join the peaceful movement, activists called for “Great Friday” protests on Good Friday. Over 100 people were killed across Syria, making it the bloodiest day so far in the uprising. CNN
April 25, Government launches bloody crackdown, sending thousands of troops to Daraa. They raided the city just after 4 am and began shooting indiscriminately. The United States prepares sanctions against the regime. CNN
April 29, United States imposes sanctions on top Syrian officials. CNN
May 10, European Union imposes sanctions on 13 of Syria’s top officials for ‘violence against demonstrators. CNN
May 20, Protests continue. At least 34 killed amid clashes between security forces and protesters. CNN
May 24, The civilian death toll reaches over 1,100, according to Syrian human rights groups.
May 28, Hamza Al Khatib, 13, is returned to his family as a mutilated corpse. His body bore the signs of torture. He, along with other children and adults were arrested weeks earlier. CNN
June 2, “Conference for Change in Syria” Hundreds of Syrian activists held a meeting in Turkey. They issue a declaration calling on al-Assad to step down. CNN
June 3, “Friday of the Children” protests. The largest protest outside Daraa takes place in Hama with about 50,000 protesters. The Syrian government disconnects access to the Internet and reduces Syria’s online activities by nearly two-thirds (Source: Syria Deeply).
June 3, President Assad announced the formation of an ad hoc committee designed to establish a foundation for a national dialogue to overcome Syria’s current impasse. The president declared that the committee would serve to create the proper environment for national movements to be able to express their various opinions on Syrian social, economic, and political life, which would thus bring about reforms on laws particularly dealing with political parties, media, and elections. SANA English
June 3, Syria’s military forces continued pressing to crush a three-month-old popular uprising on Thursday, shelling a string of southern and central towns even as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned President Bashar al-Assad that his legitimacy had “nearly run out.” New York Times
June 3, At least ten protesters were killed in Hama in the midst of one of the biggest demonstrations the city has witnessed so far. Syrian forces also fired at protesters in Deir al-Zor and in Damascus’ Barzeh district. Reuters
June 3, A group of mostly exiled Syrian opposition figures on Thursday called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hinted that the United States is preparing to take a tougher stance against Damascus, escalating pressure on the Syrian government as it presses ahead with its brutal crackdown against protesters. Washington Post
June 3, Two U.N. special advisers expressed alarm on Thursday about Syrian authorities’ “systematic and deliberate attacks” against helpless civilians in their bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. Reuters
June 6, Syrian military forces were reported to have killed 38 people in the northern province of Idlib on Saturday and Sunday, demonstrators and rights activists said, as security forces appeared to redeploy from other towns to join the latest front in the harsh crackdown on a three-month-old popular uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad. New York Times
June 6, The Obama administration condemned the Syrian regime for allegedly shutting down Internet and other communication networks amid continuing calls for political reforms. The Hill
June 6, In one of the bloodiest days since the beginning of the unrest, at least 70 people were killed during anti-government protests. The death toll included one person in Damascus, two in the northwestern province of Idlib, and seven in the town of Rastan. The most casualties, however, occurred in the city of Hama, where at least 60 people were killed. Reuters
June 7, The Syrian government asserted Monday that 120 soldiers had been killed by armed protesters in the northern town of Jisr al-Shughour, amid indications that what began as a peaceful protest movement is turning into an armed rebellion in at least some parts of the country. Washington Post
June 7, France has become the first major power to say that Bashar al Assad, the Syrian president, has lost the legitimacy to govern. “The situation is very clear,” Alain Juppé, foreign minister, said in an address to a Washington think-tank. “In Syria, the process of reform is dead, and we think that Bashar has lost his legitimacy to rule the country.” Financial Times
June 7, The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog took a swipe at Israel on Monday for “allegedly” bombing to rubble a suspected Syrian reactor site in 2007, saying the case should have been reported to his agency instead. Reuters
June 8, Hundreds of Syrians crossed the northern border into Turkey, fleeing the military assault ordered by the regime following the alleged slaughter of 120 soldiers by “armed gangs.” Turkey vowed not to turn away Syrian refugees and called on the Assad government to stop its violence against civilians. Reuters; BBC News
June 8, The Syrian ambassador to France, Lamia Shakkour, denied resigning from her post early Wednesday morning and said that she had been the victim of disinformation intended to embarrass Syria. New York Times
June 8, As reports mount of defections in the Syrian military and the government staggers from the killing of soldiers and police officers in a northern city this week, President Bashar al-Assad may turn increasingly to his brother, Maher, whose elite units in a demoralized army could prove decisive to his government’s survival, activists and analysts say. New York Times
June 8, Mutinous Syrian soldiers joined forces with protesters after days of crackdowns in a tense northern region, apparently killing dozens of officers and security guards, residents and activists said Tuesday. Associated Press
June 8, Syrians fled a restive town toward the Turkish border, fearing bloodshed as troops with tanks approached, under orders to hit back after the government accused armed bands there of killing scores of its security men. Reuters
June 8, Syrian and international human rights groups urged the world’s top war crimes prosecutor on Tuesday to investigate the killing of more than 1,000 civilians during protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Reuters
June 9, President Bashar al-Assad issued two legislative decrees. The first established both an Administrative Judiciary Court in the Aleppo, Homs, and Deir Ezzor governorates and an Administrative Court in those governorates as well as Damascus. The second granted an additional examination term for students of agriculture, hotel management, and vocational training fields. SANA English
June 9, Britain and France circulated a revised draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday that would condemn the Syrian government for using force against its own civilians, but would scrupulously avoid a call for military action or any sanctions against the Syrian government. New York Times
June 9, A largely abandoned town in Syria’s northwest has become the latest focal point in the country’s uprising, as young activists brace to battle the army in what would mark a new phase of confrontation in protests against President Bashar al-Assad. Wall Street Journal
June 9, The Turkish government said Thursday that it is planning to build a second camp to house Syrian refugees, after 1,050 more people crossed the border over the last 24 hours, the semi-official Anatolian Agency reported, as a top United Nations official appealed to Damascus to stop the bloodshed that has led people to flee. New York Times
June 10, During another Friday of protests, security forces killed five protestors, including two in the Qaboun district of Damascus, two in the village of Busra al-Harir, and one in the port city of Latakia. Reuters
June 10, The United Nations nuclear watchdog voted Thursday to report Syria to the Security Council, citing Syria’s construction of a covert nuclear reactor and its failure to cooperate with investigators, diplomats said. New York Times
June 10, Britain and France met determined resistance on Thursday from Russia, China and other U.N. Security Council members on a proposal to rebuke Syria for its crackdown on anti-government protests, U.N. envoys said. Reuters
June 13, Security forces rounded up hundreds of people in a sweep through the towns around Jisr al-Shughour. Nearly 7,000 people have fled the region around the town crossing the border into Turkey. Reuters
June 14, After rounding up hundreds of people in a sweep through the villages around Jisr al-Shughour, troops pushed toward the northern town of Maarat al-Numaan, the site of many large anti-government protests, on the Damascus-Aleppo highway, reaching the village of Ahtam late on Monday. It is believed that the units involved in this northern assault are from the army’s 4th division—under the direct command of President Bashar al-Assad’s brother, Maher—the same division that suppressed the unrest in Deraa in March. Reuters
June 14, Witnesses claimed that the military is using a “scorched earth” policy in the region around Jisr al-Shughour, destroying houses and burning crops. This is still in question, however, as both sides are claiming the other is burning crops and threatening innocent civilians with the destruction of their farms if they side with the enemy. BBC News
June 14, Syrian troops pushed toward the northern town of Maarat al-Numaan on the Damascus-Aleppo highway after rounding up hundreds of people in a sweep through villages near Jisr al-Shughour, fleeing residents said. Reuters
June 14, The head of the Arab League voiced “worry” on Monday about almost three months of clashes in Syria but signaled division in the 22-member body over how to proceed. Reuters
June 15, Hundreds of Syrians displaced by a ferocious crackdown on the uprising here fled to the Turkish border by tractor, truck and foot on Tuesday, some huddling in muddy olive groves without shelter and food, residents said. New York Times
June 15, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pressed Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to put an end to violence Tuesday, in the two leaders’ first telephone conversation since their once-close relations appeared to sour a week ago. Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
June 15, A leaked Syrian government document shows that the regime orchestrated last month’s border clashes with Israel. Washington Times
June 15, Thousands of Syrians fled the historic town of Maarat al-Numaan to escape tank forces thrusting into the country’s north in a widening military campaign to crush protests against President Bashar al-Assad. Reuters
June 17, Friday of Saleh Al-Ali. Thousands of protesters poured into the streets in the suburbs of Damascus, Syria, and in three of the country’s five largest cities on Friday, in a weekly show of defiance that came days before President Bashar al-Assad was expected to address Syrians for the first time in two months. Activists said at least 19 people were killed and dozens wounded. NYT
June 18, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Monday pledged to introduce reforms within months to address a wave of protests against his rule, but blamed saboteurs for the unrest and warned that no deal could be reached with gunmen. Reuters
June 19, Syrian opposition activists have set up a “National Council” to struggle against the Damascus regime, a group of dissidents, including their spokesman Jamil Saib, announced Sunday. Aljazeera
June 20, Assad gives mixed signals in speech. Aljazeera
June 21, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s effort to drown out pro-democracy protests exploded into clashes between government supporters and opponents Tuesday, and security forces opened fire and killed seven people, including a teenager, activists said. USA Today
June 22, Witnesses said hundreds of terrified refugees crossed into Turkey to escape an army assault. Syrian troops stormed the village of Managh, 15 km (9 miles) south of the border and just north of the commercial hub of Aleppo, according to residents. Reuters
June 23, The Syrian opposition called for mass protests on Friday, titled Friday of Lost Legitimacy. Facebook
June 24, Security forces opened fire as thousands of anti-government protesters took to Syria’s streets in a weekly ritual of defiance and demands for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ousting. The European Union expanded sanctions on Syria. Aljazeera
June 25, Advance on Khirbet al-Jouz seen as a warning after Ankara seeks reforms and end to crackdown on Syrian protesters. The Guardian
June 29, As protests continued, the Syrian army continued to enter and attack villages in the Idlib province, killing four people in the village of Rameh. The Syrian army also moved in on Marayn, Ihsim, Barshoun, and al-Bara.
June 30, Rival rallies have been held in Aleppo, Syria’s second city, as troops continue their assault in nearby north-western villages, activists say. Activists called for another Friday of mass protests, this time dubbed Friday of Departure. BBC
July 16, 2012 New fighting was reported in the Syrian capital, Damascus, as Russia made clear that the Kremlin has no intention of supporting a British proposal to enact United Nations sanctions as a solution to the Syrian crisis.
July 17, 2012 Antigovernment activists reported a third day of street battles in the Syrian capital of Damascus as rebels fought Syrian Army forces in several restive neighborhoods near the edge of the old city. The security forces were backed by helicopter gunships, in an apparent hardening of the government’s response.
July 18, 2012 President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law and Syria’s defense minister were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a crisis group of senior ministers and security chiefs meeting in central Damascus, according to state television and activists.
July 19, 2012 Fighting seized neighborhoods encircling Damascus for a fifth straight day, as the impact of of the suicide bombing that killed two of President Bashar al-Assad’s key security aides continued to reverberate. Opposition activists reported battles between the Army and opposition forces in the southern district of the city and in the northern suburb of Qaboun, with residents who were not trapped by fighting fleeing many areas.
July 20, 2012 Government forces claimed to have retaken a pocket of Damascus a day after rebel fighters, building on the momentum gained by their brazen assassination of top security officials, seized all four border crossings with Iraq and one into Turkey. Iraq reported to have thrown up blast walls to seal its main border crossing with Syria while thousands of Syrians fled toward Lebanon.
July 22, 2012 Violent clashes continued in neighborhoods of Aleppo and Damascus, Syria’s two main cities, as Syrian government forces fought to regain control over areas that rebels claimed to have seized in recent days. In Damascus, the government maintained its effort to mop up pockets of rebel fighters who had moved close to the center of the capital. Fighting was heavy in the neighborhoods of Barzeh and Mezze, activists said.
July 23, 2012 The Syrian government said that its forces would never use chemical weapons in its domestic conflict. The government said it would use them only in case of an external attack, according to Jihad Makdissi, the Foreign Ministry spokesman. The European Union also strengthened its arms embargo against Syria and toughened sanctions against supporters of the country’s president.
July 24, 2012 Syrian armed forces battling insurgents in Aleppo, Syria’s second-largest city, bombed its eastern areas with fighter jets, according to a BBC correspondent traveling with the insurgents. If confirmed, the use of warplanes would signify an escalation by the Syrian government in its effort to crush armed resistance.
July 25, 2012 In Aleppo, Syria’s sprawling commercial capital, a major confrontation was brewing between the government and insurgents, with hundreds of fighters from both sides streaming into the city and taking up positions in or around half a dozen neighborhoods where the rebels have dominated for days. Government soldiers transported via trucks and buses deployed around the city’s historic 13th-century citadel, and thousands more were en route, according to rebel fighters and activists.
July 26, 2012 Government forces maintained their shelling of key cities, with Aleppo in particular bracing for a anticipated showdown between rebel fighters expanding into more neighborhoods and government military reinforcements who have yet to materialize. It was not exactly the calm before the storm, as fierce street fights have led to deaths on both sides. Most of the fighting is taking place in the poorer, eastern parts of Aleppo, which is populated mainly by Sunni Muslims, who are sympathetic to the fighters.
July 27, 2012 Syrian Army helicopters fired on neighborhoods in Aleppo, activists said, as the army readied assault troops and armored columns for a possible invasion of the city.
July 28, 2012 The Syrian Army stepped up its barrage on Aleppo, particularly the Salaheddiin neighborhood, residents and activists said. Also, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov called on Mr. Assad’s government to “make the first moves” in ceasing military action. But he also blamed Western countries and some of Syria’s neighbors for not putting enough pressure on the armed opposition to stop fighting.
July 29, 2012 As fierce fighting continued in Aleppo and its outskirts, the Syrian foreign minister, on a visit to Iran, lashed out at Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, blaming them for the escalation of violence and saying that their backing of armed groups in Syria was blocking a path toward “political dialogue.” The comments by Walid al-Moallem were an echo of those made by Syria’s most important ally, Russia.
July 30, 2012 Both the Syrian government and its opponents claimed victories in the embattled city of Aleppo, a day after the United Nations humanitarian chief warned of a growing crisis in the country’s largest city, saying that almost of a tenth of its residents had fled over two days of fighting. Opposition fighters said that after a pitched battle with the Syrian Army, they had seized control of a vital checkpoint a few miles northwest of the city, freeing up a route for supplies and fighters between Aleppo and the Turkish border. On the same day, the Turkish military dispatched troops, armored personnel carriers and missile batteries to the Syrian border. At least one area along Turkey’s border is now controlled by jihadist groups dominated by heavily armed foreign fighters.
July 31, 2012 Syrian rebels said they took control of at least two important police stations in central Aleppo, maintaining their hold on several neighborhoods despite air assaults and shelling by government troops. Residents and activists said the Syrian Army was attacking from a military base on the city’s southern edge, while rebel commanders and activists said the rebels controlled eastern sections of the city as they continued to fight for neighborhoods near the center of the city and in Salaheddiin, a large neighborhood in the southwest part of Aleppo.
Aug. 1, 2012 In rare public remarks apparently designed to marshal government forces seeking to suppress the 17-month revolt, President Bashar al-Assad urged his forces on to show “more readiness and continued preparations” to confront “internal agents” seeking to destabilize his battered country, according to the official SANA news agency. The call to arms was described by analysts as the first public appeal by Mr. Assad since a bombing in mid-July killed some of his most senior aides and spurred speculation about his whereabouts.
Aug. 2, 2012 Kofi Annan, the special envoy of the United Nations and Arab League who has sought unsuccessfully for months to resolve the Syria conflict, submitted his resignation, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said. Mr. Annan has grown increasingly frustrated over his failure to achieve even a basic cease-fire in the conflict. On the same day of Mr. Annan’s resignation, Syria’s rebels shelled an airport near Aleppo in what was described as one of the first known instances of insurgents using captured heavy weapons, as opposition activists warned that fighting for the city, the country’s main commercial center, would likely intensify. A Syrian activist said Mr. Assad’s army appeared to be preparing for an all-out assault.
Aug. 3, 2012 Armed clashes erupted in at least three Syrian cities amid reports of a deadly mortar attack on a major Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, an event that threatened to draw Syria’s displaced Palestinian population into its civil war. The new mayhem, reported in Damascus, Aleppo and Hama, came as diplomatic recriminations intensified over the resignation a day earlier of Kofi Annan, the special envoy of the United Nations and Arab League.
Aug. 4, 2012 Explosions and heavy fighting rocked Syria’s two largest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, witnesses and activists said, as the Syrian government and rebel fighters struggled to gain an advantage. Also, Iran’s state news agency reported that unidentified “armed groups” had kidnapped 48 Iranians on the road to the Damascus airport after the Iranians visited a religious shrine.
Aug. 5, 2012 A group of Syrian rebels took responsibility for the kidnapping of 48 Iranians in Damascus a day earlier, but the rebels insisted that their captives were members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, not religious pilgrims as Iran’s official news agency had reported. Iranian officials said the kidnapped Iranians were pilgrims, denying that any of them were members of the Revolutionary Guards, Iran’s Arabic-language channel Al Alam reported.
Aug. 6, 2012 President Bashar al-Assad fired his prime minister, Riyad Farid Hijab, Syria’s official media reported. But opposition figures said Mr. Hijab had defected to neighboring Jordan along with at least two ministers and three military officers — 10 families in all, opposition leaders said. The announcement of his dismissal came hours after a bomb explosion was reported at the main state television building in Damascus, while fighting raged in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, and other parts of the country.
Aug. 7, 2012 Thousands of refugees poured out of the embattled city of Aleppo as the military’s fighter jets stepped up bombing raids and rebels said they were struggling to hold some of the city’s neighborhoods while mounting new assaults in others. Activists reported shelling and clashes in at least a dozen areas, adding hundreds of new bodies to a death toll that has already surpassed 21,000. On the same day, Iran moved to reframe the Syrian conflict as part of a wider battle with the United States and other hostile world powers, dispatching the personal representative of its leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to Damascus for a televised display of solidarity with President Bashar al-Assad.
Aug. 8, 2012 Rebel fighters in Aleppo said that government forces had launched a ground assault, forcing them to pull back from parts of the city because their ammunition was running low, as new disputes arose around the contentious issue of foreign military support for President Bashar al-Assad and for the opposition. Several rebel commanders said shelling and bomb attacks early in the morning had reached new levels of intensity. Residents who had not fled the city reported receiving text messages on their cellphones in the morning asking them to cooperate with the government.
Aug. 9, 2012 Syrian rebels in embattled Aleppo said they made gains in some parts of the city while tactically withdrawing from others as government forces bolstered positions and shelled contested areas on the second day of a ground offensive that the authorities said inflicted heavy losses on foes of President Bashar al-Assad. As loyalist forces claimed significant advances, Mr. Assad sought to project an appearance of political control and authority, appointing a new prime minister, Wael Nader al-Halqi, to replace Riyad Farid Hijab, who had defected to Jordan several days earlier.
Aug. 10, 2012 In Aleppo, government forces backed by jets, helicopters, artillery and tanks were reported to have resumed their pursuit of rebels, who claimed to be counterattacking in cat-and-mouse fighting after pulling back from the most contested area of the city. The upsurge in violence in recent days sent tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing to neighboring Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq. In those countries, the United Nations refugee agency said, a total of more than 146,000 Syrians had registered as refugees, or were in the process of registering, since the fighting began.
Aug. 20, 2012 President Obama threatened military action against Syria if there was evidence that the government of President Bashar al-Assad was moving its stocks of chemical or biological weapons. It was Mr. Obama’s most direct warning of American intervention in Syria.
Aug. 21, 2012 Army shellings and shootings raged in at least three insurgency hot spots across Syria, including what antigovernment activists described as the deadly bombardment of a cemetery in a Damascus suburb during funerals for victims of a freshly discovered massacre. In Moscow, a Syrian deputy prime minister and the Russian foreign minister rejected warnings by President Obama about possible American military intervention if Damascus were to move or deploy unconventional weapons.
Aug. 22, 2012 Gunfire and shelling rocked Damascus and its suburbs as opponents of President Bashar al-Assad reported a widening campaign by the military to sow fear and death in neighborhoods where the rebels are strong and the government is too weak to fully control.
Aug. 23, 2012 The United Nations said that more than 200,000 refugees had registered in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, with 30,000 new arrivals tallied in the past week alone. The agency had anticipated a total of 185,000 registered refugees by the end of 2012.
Aug. 26, 2012 Mass burials in Daraya, a Damascus suburb, showed the carnage of the past few days in gruesome detail: scores of bodies lined up on top of each other in long thin graves moist with mud.
Aug. 27, 2012 France’s president urged the Syrian opposition movement to create a provisional government and vowed to extend official recognition once it was formed. Meanwhile, President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt has been staking out a new leadership role by reaching out to Iran and other regional powers in an initiative to halt the escalating violence.
Aug. 28, 2012 The United Nations refugee agency said that the number of Syrian refugees fleeing to Jordan had more than doubled in a week, raising further fears of a growing exodus from Syria that threatens to overwhelm international relief efforts.
Aug. 29, 2012 President Bashar al-Assad said that his government’s battle against rebel forces would need “time” and that a proposal floated by opponents to create buffer zones inside Syria was unrealistic. In an interview that will air on a private Syrian channel, Mr. Assad framed the conflict as a “global and regional war,” praised the heroism of his army and criticized officials in Turkey, who have raised the possibility of military intervention in Syria.
Aug. 30, 2012 At a meeting of the non-aligned movement in Tehran, Egypt’s new Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, likened the uprising in Syria to the revolutions that swept away longtime leaders in North Africa. Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General, also denounced the repression of the armed uprising in Syria.
Sept. 1, 2012 Opposition fighters said that they had captured an air defense base in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, taking at least 16 soldiers captive and seizing weapons and ammunition in what appeared to be part of a broader rebel offensive against Syrian military installations.
Sept. 5, 2012 Iran has resumed shipping military equipment to Syria over Iraqi airspace in a new effort to bolster the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, showing the limits of American influence with Iraq’s Shiite-led government.
Sept. 8, 2012 Clashes between the Syrian military and rebel fighters burst a main pipe that delivered drinking water to thousands of residents of Aleppo, opposition groups said, as the United Nations refugee agency said more than 1.2 million Syrians still inside the country, half of them children, had been displaced from their homes. The agency said the number of people in need of assistance in Syria had doubled since July to 2.5 million, not including the 250,000 refugees who have fled to camps in neighboring countries.
Sept. 9, 2012 The Syrian government accused France of “schizophrenia” for pledging to support a peaceful resolution to the uprising challenging President Bashar al-Assad and aiding the armed groups driving the insurrection. On the same day, an explosion ripped through the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, killing 17 people and wounding 40, the official Syrian state news agency said.
Sept. 17, 2012 With the Syrian conflict reported to be spilling into the Lebanese border area, United Nations investigators said civilians are bearing the brunt of indiscriminate air and ground assaults in the fighting over the future of President Bashar al-Assad. They reported a sharp escalation in government attacks.
Sept. 19, 2012 The bloody civil war in Syria spilled across border areas as rebel forces reportedly drove government troops from a northern frontier crossing in an apparent effort to expand resupply and infiltration routes.
Sept. 20, 2012 At least 30 people, and as many as 100, were killed in the northern Raqqa Province when government warplanes bombed a gasoline station crowded with people, according to activist groups.
Sept. 22, 2012 Commanders of the Free Syrian Army, the main umbrella group for fighters opposing President Bashar al-Assad, said that they had moved their headquarters from Turkey into “liberated areas” inside Syria, in what they portrayed as a major step forward in their efforts to aid, coordinate and control disparate groups of rebels.
Sept. 24, 2012 The raging conflict in Syria will take center stage at the General Assemby of the United Nations in New York, where about 120 world leaders are converging for a weeklong meeting. Despite at least three high-level meetings on Syria, and countless other talks, no broad new initiatives are expected. At the U.N., Lakhdar Brahimi, the newly appointed peace envoy to Syria, told Security Council members that the government of President Bashar al-Assad had no wish to change and that there was no immediate prospect for a diplomatic breakthrough. Mr. Brahimi spoke on a day of fierce Syrian government attacks on the city of Aleppo, with antigovernment activists reporting at least eight people including four children killed by shelling of residential buildings.
Sept. 25, 2012 Several mortar shells launched from Syria landed in the Golan Heights near Israel’s northern border, prompting the Israeli military to file a complaint with United Nations forces operating in the area. No one was injured, and no damage was caused by the shells. Israeli military officials said the firing was aimed at rebel forces holed up in Jubta al-Hashab, a village on the Syrian side of the border.
Sept. 26, 2012 At least two large explosions struck a military headquarters in a busy square in central Damascus, in what appeared to be the second insurgent attack on President Bashar al-Assad’s military in two days. The explosions struck a warren of buildings in one of the capital’s most guarded areas, near a presidential office used by Mr. Assad. In gunfire that followed the attack, a television correspondent from Iran’s English-language satellite network was killed during a live broadcast.
Sept. 27, 2012 The number of Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries for safety and aid is likely to exceed 700,000 by the end of 2012, according to the United Nations.
Sept. 28, 2012 In response to the unrelenting conflict and recent reports of new massacres in Syria, the United Nations’ human rights body voted in Geneva to strengthen and extend the term of the commission gathering evidence of abuses that could provide a basis for future prosecution by national or international courts. The agency, the United Nations Human Rights Council, voted to continue the work of the Commission of Inquiry for six more months and to increase its financing and its staff members.
Sept. 29, 2012 Fire swept through the old central souk, or marketplace, of Aleppo, damaging a vast and well-preserved labyrinth of medieval storehouses, shops, schools and ornate courtyards as fierce clashes between security forces and insurgents vowing to carry out a “decisive battle” for the city continued. For many residents, the old city, with the souk at its center, is the soul of Aleppo, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and Syria’s largest.
Dec. 2, 2012 Syrian warplanes and artillery blasted parts of Damascus and its rebellious suburbs, part of what activists described as intense fighting as rebels tried to push their way into the center of President Bashar Assad’s power base. In central Syria, a car bomb killed at least 15 people, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported. Despite the fighting, merchants around the country closed their shops in an attempt to keep the nonviolent protest movement, called the “Strike of Pride,” alive.
Dec. 6, 2012 Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations special envoy to Syria, hosted an unusual three-way meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, to discuss the conflict in Syria. The session, which was held on the margins of a meeting on European security in Dublin, came amid reports of heightened activity at Syria’s chemical weapons sites and signs that Russia may be shifting its position on Syria.
Dec. 7, 2012 Rebels seeking the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad declared the main airport in Damascus a “fair target,” warning travelers that they used it at their peril. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton repeated calls for the ouster of President Assad, but said there had been no “great breakthrough” in talks she held in Dublin on Dec. 6 with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, and Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations special envoy to Syria.
Dec. 10, 2012 Spillover of the Syrian civil war killed at least 17 people in Northern Lebanon where residents have begun to see themselves as part of the neighboring conflict. In Iran, leaders insist that the conflict in Syria, their main ally in the Arabic world, is manageable and ultimately will be resolved to their advantage.
Dec. 11, 2012 President Obama said that the United States would formally recognize the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as that country’s legitimate representative, intensifying the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to give up his bloody struggle to stay in power. The Obama administration coupled its recognition with the designation hours earlier of a militant Syrian rebel group, Al Nusra Front, as a foreign terrorist organization, affiliated with Al Qaeda.
Dec. 12, 2012 Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have fired Scud missiles at rebel fighters in recent days, in a significant escalation of the conflict. In Morocco, representatives of more than 100 countries and organizations grouped in the so-called Friends of Syria alliance recognized a newly formed coalition of his adversaries.
Dec. 13, 2012 A top Russian diplomat said that Bashar al-Assad’s government is losing control to rebel forces, and said “unfortunately, it is impossible to exclude a victory of the Syrian opposition” — the most clear indication yet that Russia sees Mr. Assad, a longtime strategic ally, as headed for defeat. Also, the United States will send two Patriot missile batteries and about 400 military personnel to Turkey to defend against a possible Syrian missile attack, two allied officials said.
Feb. 7, 2013 Syrian insurgents attack military checkpoints and other targets in parts of central Damascus, shattering lull in fighting as prospects for talks to end nearly two-year-old conflict dim.
Feb. 8, 2013 Deep divisions in the Obama administration over rising violence in Syria spill into public view for the first time in blunt exchange between Senator John McCain of Arizona and the leaders of the Pentagon Defense Secretary Leon E Panetta, testifying before Senate Armed Services Committee, acknowledges he and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Martin E Dempsey, supported plan in 2012 to arm carefully vetted Syrian rebels, but plan was vetoed by White House.MORE »
Feb. 9, 2013 Group of teenagers from Dara’a, Syria, carry the burden and honor of having participated in an incident that sparked the country’s bloody revolution group was arrested and tortured for graffiti challenging the rule of Pres Bashar al-Assad, setting off demonstrations that later widened into civil war.MORE »
Feb. 9, 2013 Two videos that show Syrian soldiers and rebels dancing and singing have provoked sharply different political reactions.MORE »
Feb. 9, 2013 United Nations refugee agency says Syria’s conflict is now driving 5,000 people out of country each day in desperate scramble for safety; reports that surge brings total number of registered refugees to 787,000, with many living in dire conditions without adequate humanitarian support.MORE »
Feb. 10, 2013 Public relations controversy erupts after leading Israeli newspaper publishes comments from interview with Sheik Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, leader of Syria’s main exile opposition group; Syrian government falsely characterizes Sheik Khatib’s remarks to feed fears of rebel government.MORE »
Feb. 11, 2013 front page Rebel advance in Damascus, Syria, creates a new level of alarm and disorder, after months of defensive fighting that has raged in its suburbs.”MORE »
Feb. 12, 2013 Syrian insurgents and opposition activists say that rebel forces have taken control of country’s largest hydroelectric dam, assertion that, if confirmed, would give them significant control over vital reservoir and what remains of sporadic power supplies in country.MORE »
Feb. 13, 2013 Syrian insurgents seize control of Al Jarrah airfield in Aleppo Province and capture usable warplanes for first time in nearly two-year-old conflict; seizure comes day after insurgents took control of Syria’s largest hydroelectric dam.MORE »
Feb. 14, 2013 Secretary of State John Kerry says he plans to use his first foreign trip to advance new ideas about how to persuade Syria’s Pres Bashar al-Assad to yield power and agree to political transition.MORE »
Feb. 14, 2013 At least one senior Iranian official is reported killed in attack while driving from Syria to Lebanon, which draws attention to suspicions of Iran’s role in Syrian civil war.MORE »
Feb. 15, 2013 Syrian insurgency claims to have gained near-total control of Hasaka province, northeastern region that is home to some of few remaining domestic oil production facilities that supply fuel for Pres Bashar al-Assad’s military forces.MORE »
Feb. 16, 2013 Syria’s main opposition body formally endorses initiative to pursue political solution through talks with members of Syrian government, provided that Pres Bashar al-Assad and security and military leaders involved in his bloody crackdown are excluded.MORE »
Feb. 17, 2013 Kidnappings of more than 140 people have provoked fears of expanded sectarian conflict in Syria’s northern Idlib Province; one set of hostages is released in good condition after negotiations between residents of two affected villages; kidnappings for money or political reasons have become common in Syria as government control has eroded.MORE »
Feb. 19, 2013 Pres Obama could revisit arming Syrian rebels as Pres Bashar al-Assad holds firm.MORE »
Feb. 19, 2013 United Nations Human Rights Council report on Syria finds credible evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both government and opposition forces in the six months up to mid-January; cites accounts of massacres, summary executions, torture, attacks on civilians, sexual violence and abuses against children.MORE »
Feb. 20, 2013 Syrian antigovernment activists say army rocket leveled several buildings in rebel-held neighborhood of Aleppo, killing at least 19 people and possibly leaving dozens more buried under rubble; attack appears to have caused one of worst civilian tolls in embattled city since its university was struck in multiple bombing in January.MORE »
Feb. 21, 2013 Lebanese military court charges former government information minister Michel Samaha and Syrian security official Brig Gen Ali Mamlouk with conspiracy to kill Lebanese political and religious leaders and foment sectarian strife, recommending death penalty for both.MORE »
Feb. 22, 2013 At least three car bombs explode in Damascus, Syria, including powerful blast near downtown headquarters of Pres Bashar al-Assad’s governing party and Russian Embassy; neither opposition groups nor Syrian military forces claim responsibility for attacks, which kill at least 72 people, mostly civilians.MORE »
Feb. 23, 2013 Antigovernment activists in Syria say military fired Scud missiles into at least three rebel-held districts of Aleppo, flattening dozens of houses, killing at least 12 civilians and burying perhaps dozens of others under piles of rubble.MORE »
Feb. 24, 2013 front page Large influx of Syrian refugees to Lebanon has heightened sectarian tensions in nation haunted by refugee crises Lebanese government has largely left refugees to fend for themselves, but there is growing sense of emergency about impact crisis will have on country, especially as battle for Damascus looms; Syrian capital is only a half-hour’s drive from the border.MORE »
Feb. 25, 2013 American officials struggle to salvage important meeting with Syrian opposition as John Kerry arrives in Europe, first stop on his maiden trip as United States secretary of state; Syrian opposition leaders are threatening to boycott conference to protest what they see as fainthearted international support.MORE »
Feb. 26, 2013 Secretary of State John Kerry says that Obama administration has been considering new steps to increase support for Syrian opposition and hasten departure of Pres Bashar al-Assad.MORE »
Feb. 26, 2013 front page Saudi Arabia is financing large purchase of infantry weapons from Croatia and is quietly funneling them to anti-government fighters in Syria in effort to end stalemate that has allowed Pres Bashar al-Assad to cling to power arms transfers appear to signal shift among several governments to a more activist approach to assisting Syria’s armed opposition.MORE »
Feb. 27, 2013 Human Rights Watch reports that Syrian government fired at least four ballistic missiles in space of week that hit civilian neighborhoods in Aleppo, killing more than 141 people, including 71 children; report, adding to previous information from antigovernment activists, places death toll higher than previously thought.MORE »
Feb. 28, 2013 front page United States is significantly stepping up its support for the Syrian opposition, helping to train rebels at a base in the region and, for the first time, offering groups nonlethal assistance and equipment that could help their military campaign training mission represents the deepest American involvement yet in the conflict, though its size and scope are not clear.MORE »
Feb. 28, 2013 Antonio Guterres, United Nations high commissioner for refugees, warns that number of registered Syrians who had fled their homeland for safety elsewhere in region could surpass one million by March, and that Syrian conflict threatens to overwhelm international response.MORE »
Mar. 1, 2013 Food rations and medical supplies that Sec of State John Kerry says will be provided to Free Syrian Army mark first time that United States has publicly committed itself to sending nonlethal aid to armed factions battling Pres Bashar al-Assad; supplies fall short of weapons and equipment requested by rebels; Kerry defends offering, indicative of caution on part of Obama administration, saying supplies in conjunction with efforts by other countries will make difference in conflict.MORE »
Mar. 1, 2013 Croatian Prime Min Zoran Milanovic says his country will withdraw its soldiers from United Nations peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights after reports that Croatia is selling weapons that are being funneled to antigovernment fighters in Syria.MORE »
Mar. 1, 2013 front page Scores of new local councils in rebel-held Syrian towns like Tilalyan are trying to set up courts, police forces and social services, as two-year-old civil war shows signs of stalemate councils’ efforts amount to Syria’s first experiments in self-government after decades of tyranny under Pres Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez al-Assad.MORE »
Mar. 1, 2013 front page Scores of new local councils in rebel-held Syrian towns like Tilalyan are trying to set up courts, police forces and social services, as two-year-old civil war shows signs of stalemate councils’ efforts amount to Syria’s first experiments in self-government after decades of tyranny under Pres Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez al-Assad.MORE »
Mar. 2, 2013 Saturday Profile of Syrian Gen Salim Idris, who defected from Syrian Army in July 2012 and is now chief of staff of rebel forces; much of Syria’s future rests on General Idris’s success on battlefield.MORE »
Mar. 3, 2013 Foreign ministers of Syria and Iran harshly criticize United States over its decision to provide aid to rebels fighting to topple Pres Bashar al-Assad, saying that such assistance would only prolong conflict.MORE »
Mar. 5, 2013 Secretary of State John Kerry says that Syrian opposition is capable of properly handling military support it receives; Kerry’s comments follow conference in Rome on issue of building support for coalition of opponents to Syrian government of Pres Bashar al-Assad.MORE »
Mar. 5, 2013 front page More than 40 Syrian soldiers who had sought temporary safety in Iraq are killed in an ambush by unidentified gunmen as Iraqi military was transporting them back to Syria in bus convoy attack is most serious spillover of violence into Iraq since the Syrian conflict began, and threatens to inflame the sectarian tensions that already divide Iraq, where a Sunni minority sympathizes with Syria’s overwhelmingly Sunni opposition.MORE »
Mar. 6, 2013 Secretary of State John Kerry says Obama administration supports efforts by Middle Eastern nations to send arms to opposition in Syria, signaling more transparent effort to coordinate military assistance for opponents of Pres Bashar al-Assad; says administration has gained new confidence that Syrian opposition can minimize risk of weapons falling into extremists’ hands.MORE »
Mar. 6, 2013 United Nations report finds that thousands of schools in Syria have been damaged or converted into shelters and that many children have not attended class for two years.MORE »
Mar. 7, 2013 front page Insurgent fighters from Syria seize a group of United Nations troops on patrol in the disputed Golan Heights region between Syria and Israel, threatening to treat them as prisoners of war incident is an abrupt escalation in the conflict that has entangled international peacekeepers for the first time.MORE »
Mar. 8, 2013 United Nations officials negotiate with Syrian rebels who seized group of 21 United Nations peacekeepers in dispute Golan Heights neighborhood between Syria and Israel; rebels offer assurances of peacekeepers’ well-being and appear to back away from threats to hold them as hostages, claiming that they acted to protect peacekeeping unit from Syrian government assault.MORE »
Mar. 8, 2013 Obama administration officials say that Syrian opposition leaders Moaz al-Khatib and Gen Salim Idriss have postponed visit to Washington for series of high-profile meetings; observers speculate that decision may reflect Khatib’s intention to spend time building moderate coalition at home, while others posit that it reflects caution about appearing too closely allied with Americans.MORE »
Mar. 9, 2013 front page Hundreds of millions of dollars in international humanitarian aid for Syrians afflicted by civil war is flowing almost exclusively to areas controlled by Pres Bashar al-Assad, bypassing rebel-held regions where need is most acute result is that funds are effectively funding Assad’s survival; aid is subject to United Nations agreement that relief agencies follow Assad’s rules.MORE »
Mar. 9, 2013 United Nations says agreement has been reached to secure release of 21 Filipino peacekeepers seized by Syrian insurgents in disputed Golan Heights region between Syria and Israel; it is unclear when captives will be freed.MORE »
Mar. 10, 2013 Syrian rebels released 21 detained United Nations peacekeepers to Jordanian forces, ending a three-day standoff that raised new tensions in the region and new questions about the fighters just as the United States and other nations were grappling over whether to allow more arms to flow to the rebel movement; peacekeepers, from the Philippines, arrived safely and unharmed.MORE »
Mar. 12, 2013 Islamic State of Iraq, Sunni militant jihadist group in Iraq, claims responsibility for killing dozens of Syrian soldiers who had sought temporary safety on Iraqi side of border, boasting about massacre in Internet posting; message from groups reflects hardened sectarian animus spreading from Syrian conflict.MORE »
Mar. 12, 2013 Anhar Kochneva, Ukrainian blogger and journalist captured by Syrian rebel group, announces that she has escaped her captors but offers little detail.MORE »
Mar. 13, 2013 front page Syrian military’s ability to fight rebels and hold territory has steadily eroded, with government signaling growing anxiety over its ability to refresh depleted and exhausted ranks of soldiers military remains better armed and organized than rebels, but two years of fighting have caused it to continue scaling back its ambitions and rethink its tactics.MORE »
Mar. 14, 2013 Various factions arrayed against Pres Bashar al-Assad in Syria are already battling to reshape country’s institutions, including courts, schools, mosques and local administrations; reinventing courts is particularly onerous, with secular coalitions facing off against strong-arm tactics from Islamists who wish to institute strict Shariah law.MORE »
Mar. 14, 2013 Amnesty International issues report detailing what it calls war crimes committed by both sides in Syria’s ongoing civil war; cites wholesale destruction of neighborhoods with banned weapons by government forces, as well as escalation of abuses by opposition.MORE »
Mar. 15, 2013 France joins Britain in urging its European Union partners to meet in March and end an arms embargo on Syria, to allow weapons to be sent to the opposition there.MORE »
Mar. 15, 2013 Syria’s civil war is closing out its second year in mosaic of vicious and widely scattered battles, like one along the Damascus-Aleppo highway it is bitterly personal war, in which Islamic rebels and more secular fighters share immediate goal of protecting their families antigovernment fighters have wrested much of northern Syria from Pres Bashar al-Assad’s army, but they move slowly, checked by weapon shortages and lingering pockets of government forces.MORE »