Timeline Syria thru 2010

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Sunni Muslims comprised two thirds of Syria’s people. The Alawites, a religious group that broke away from Shiite Islam in the 9th century, comprised about 6% of Syria’s population. Pres. Hafez Assad was a member of the sect.
    (SSFC, 5/4/03, p.A11)(Econ, 3/26/11, p.53)(Econ, 4/2/11, p.22)

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100,000BC    Hunters stalked giant camels in the Syrian desert about this time. Bones of the “Syrian Camel," as tall as some modern-day elephants, were discovered 150 miles north of Damascus in 2005.
    (AP, 10/11/06)

9000BC    In 2007 French archaeologists discovered an 11,000-year-old wall painting underground in northern Syria which they believe is the oldest in the world. The 2 square-meter painting, in red, black and white, was found at the Neolithic settlement of Djade al-Mughara on the Euphrates, northeast of the city of Aleppo.
    (Reuters, 10/11/07)

3600BC-1000BC    The Mesopotamian settlement of Nagar (in northeastern Syria) grew to become one of the first large cities of the Middle East. It began before 6,000BC and continued to about 1000BC.
    (MT, summer 2003, p.11)

3000BC-2000BC    Ebla was a commercial capital of this era. In 1975 tens of thousands of cuneiform tablets were found that supported Ebla's role.
    (WSJ, 9/30/99, p.A26)

2400BC    The Mesopotamian city of Nagar (in northeastern Syria) became the powerful state of Nagar about this time.
    (MT, summer 2003, p.11)

2300BC    Akkadian armies conquered Nagar about this time.
    (MT, summer 2003, p.13)

2291BC-2254BC    Naram-Sin ruled Akkad. He defeated a rebel coalition in Sumer and re-established Akkadian power. He re-conquered Syria, Lebanon, and the Taurus mountains, destroying Aleppo and Mari in the process.  During his reign the Gutians sacked the city of Agade and eventually destroyed all of Sumer (southern Iraq). During his reign Naram-Sin campaigned against the region of Magan (Oman).

2100BCE    Amorites came from the Arabian peninsula and were the first important Semitic settlers in the area of Damascus. They established many small states.
    (SFEC, 11/21/99, p.A26)

c2000BCE    A palace was built at Qatanah, 12 miles south of Damascus, that was discovered in 1999.
    (SFEC, 11/21/99, p.A6)

1500-1200BCE    The Amorites in the time of Moses came from northeast Syria.
    (MT, Spg. ‘97, p.11)

1468BCE    In Egypt Hatshepsut died and Tuthmosis III, in his early thirties, declared war on the Prince of the Syrian city of Kadesh, who had organized a confederacy in Palestine and Syria. Tuthmosis defeated the Syrians following an 8 month siege of Megiddo.
    (ON, 3/01, p.11)

1294BC-1279BC    Sethi I (Seti I), son of Rammeses I and the father of Rammeses II, ruled during Egypt’s 19th Dynasty. He restored the ancient gods of Egypt, such as Amun-Re, Ptah, Seth, and Osiris. At Abydos he built a splendid temple to Osiris. Sethi claims to have inflicted a victory against the Hittite king, Mursillis II, the successor to Suppililiumas, at the towns of Yenoam and Bethshael. Seti overran Palestine, made peace with the Hittites in Syria, opened mines and quarries, and enlarged the Temple of Amun-Re at Karnak. His tomb was discovered in 1817.
    (NG, 9/98, p.17,19)(AM, 7/01, p.56)(www.crystalinks.com/dynasty18e.html)

c1182BC    Ramessu III beat back a formidable attack by northern countries. An inscription describing this war was engraved on the second pylon of the temple of Medinet Habu. The inscription describes how the northerners were disturbed, and proceeded to move eastward and southward, swamping in turn the land of the Hittites, Carchemish, Arvad, Cyprus, Syria, and other places of the same region. The Hittites and North Syrians had been so crippled by them that Ramessu took the opportunity to extend the frontier of Egyptian territory northward... the twofold ravaging of Syria left it weakened and opened the door for the colonization of its coast-lands by the beaten remnant of the invading army.

738BC        Mittinti, king of Ashkelon revolted, trusting to the support of Rezon of Syria. But the death of Rezon so terrified the king that he fell sick and died. His son Rukipti, who reigned in his stead, hastened to make submission.

734BC        Rezon of Syria, and Pekah of Samaria were in league, whereas Ahaz of Jerusalem had become a vassal of the king of Assyria. The Philistines had attached themselves to the Syrian league, so that Tiglath-Pileser came up with the special purpose of sacking Gaza. Hanunu, the king of Gaza, fled to Sebako, king of Egypt; but he afterwards returned and, having made submission, was received with favor.

732BC        Tiglath-pileser III, an Assyrian, took Damascus and killed Rezin. He then captured many cities of northern Israel and took the people to Assyria. The Egyptian troops had at one time joined forces with Damascus, Israel and some other states to resist Shalmaneser III at Qarqar.

300BC        Dura-Europos, a Greek colony was built on the Euphrates in eastern Syria.
    (SSFC, 6/28/09, p.A8)

300-64BCE    Antioch served as the capital of the kingdom of Syria.
    (WUD, 1994 p.66)

175-164BCE    King Antiochus IV, Seleucid tyrant, ruled Syria.
    (MH, 12/96)(SFC, 12/6/04, p.B2)

170BCE    The rebel Maccabees were able to gain victory in Jerusalem occupied by Antiochus IV During the re-dedication of the temple they stretched a days worth of oil out to 8 days for which the holiday of Hanukkah is celebrated.
    (SFC, 11/27/96, zz1 p.F1)

168BCE    Syria’s Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes ruled over Israel and tried to outlaw Judaism. He tried to Hellenize the Jews by erecting idols. The Jews resisted and began the Maccabean revolt. The Maccabees were successful until internal dissension tore them apart.
    (eawc, p.15)(PC, 1992 ed, p.27)

167BCE    Antiochus IV, the Hellenistic tyrant of what later became called the Middle East, began to increase religious persecution against the Jews in Palestine and outlawed observance of the Torah. This included the circumcision of males, dietary restrictions and observance of the Sabbath. He installed a cult of Zeus in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Jewish priest Mattathias of Modin defied Antiochus, escaped outside Lydda with his 5 sons and began a revolt.
    (WSJ, 12/11/98, p.W15)(PC, 1992 ed, p.27)

165BCE    Jerusalem and sacred temple of Judah were recaptured by the Maccabees. They used guerrilla tactics and elephants as tanks to throw off the tyranny of the Greco-Syrian oppressors. During the cleanup they found one container of the sacred oil used to light the temple's candelabra known as a menorah. They gathered to light the oil which was expected to last only a day, but lasted eight nights. The event was memorialized in the celebration of Hanukkah (rededication), the Feast of Lights. [see 164BCE]
    (SFC,12/10/97, Z1 p.4)(SFC,12/23/97, p.A13)(WSJ, 11/27/98, p.W8)

6-4BCE    Publius Quinctilius Varus served as Roman governor of Syria.

4BCE        Publius Sulpicius Quirinus served as Roman governor of Cilicia, which was annexed to Syria.

6CE        Sulpicius Quirinius (Cyrenius), Roman governor of Syria, ordered a 2nd census of Judea.
    (Econ, 1/1/05, p.38)(www.biblehistory.net/volume2/Quirinius.htm)

9CE        Sep 15, Publius Quinctilius Varus, Roman viceroy of Syria, died of suicide at 59.
    (MC, 9/15/01)

19CE        Oct 10, Germanicus, the best loved of Roman princes, died of poisoning. On his deathbed he accused Piso, the governor of Syria, of poisoning him.
    (HN, 10/10/98)

c40CE    Saul of Tarsus, while on the road to Damascus, experienced a profound conversion to Christianity. He became known as St. Paul. In 1997 A.N. Wilson wrote "Paul: The Mind of the Apostle." Wilson argued that Paul was the real founder of the Church of Jesus. Paul was a student of the Jewish scholar Raban Gamliel.
    (CU, 6/87)(SFC, 3/28/97, p.C11)(Internet)

44CE        In Syria the funeral Tower of Ketout was built in Palmyra. It became famed for vivid scenes etched into its walls. In 2015 it was one of three funeral towers blown up by Islamic State militants.
    (AFP, 9/4/15)

83CE        In Syria the funeral Tower of Jambalik was built in Palmyra. In 2015 it was one of three funeral towers blown up by Islamic State militants. and.
    (AFP, 9/4/15)

103        In Syria the four-storey funeral tower of Elahbel was built in Palmyra. In 2015 it was one of three funeral towers blown up by Islamic State militants.
    (Reuters, 9/4/15)

117        Aug 11, The Roman army of Syria hailed its legate, Hadrian, as emperor, which made the senate's formal acceptance an almost meaningless event. One of his first acts was to withdraw Rome’s army from Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).
    (www.roman-emperors.org/hadrian.htm)(Econ, 7/19/08, p.94)

222        Mar 11, Varius A. Bassianus (18), Syrian emperor of Rome (218-22), was murdered.
    (MC, 3/12/02)

235        Mar 18, Marcus Aurelius Alexander, Syrian emperor of Rome (222-235), was murdered.
    (MC, 3/18/02)

266CE        King Odenathus of Palmyra, ruler of the Roman province of Syria, was murdered. Zenobia Septimia, his wife, took control in the name of her teenage son, Vaballathus.
    (ON, 7/00, p.1)

270        Zenobia of Syria proclaimed herself “Queen of the East" and attacked Roman colonies adjoining her and conquered Egypt.
    (ON, 7/00, p.1)

272        Roman emperor Aurelian sent an army to attack Zenobia’s troops in Egypt and was repulsed.
    (ON, 7/00, p.1)

272CE        Queen Zenobia led a failed uprising against the Romans, which left the city of Palmyra partly destroyed. Forces of Emperor Aurelian laid siege on Palmyra, from which Zenobia and a few retainers escaped. They were soon captured by Roman scouts. In 1967 Agnes Carr Vaughn authored “Zenobia of Palmyra." In 1994 Richard Stoneman authored “Palmyra and Its Empire: Zenobia’s Revolt Against Rome."
    (AMNHDT, 11/99)(ON, 7/00, p.3)

359CE        Christians allegedly established a camp in Skythopolis, Syria, to torture and execute pagans from around Europe. This can only be a reference to the Arian Bishop of Scythopolis, Patrophilus, who cruelly abused Christian bishops exiled to his see under Constantius. These included Eusebius of Vercelli. It was not a death-camp, nor did it last 30 years, nor were pagans the victims.
    (Arch, 1/05, p.70)(www.tektonics.org/af/crimeline.htm)

362CE        Jun 17, Emperor Julian issued an edict banning Christians from teaching in Syria.
    (HN, 6/17/98)

410        St. Maroun, founder of the Maronite Christians, died in Cyrrhus region of Syria. The Maronite movement reached Lebanon when St Maroun's first disciple Abraham of Cyrrhus, who was called the Apostle of Lebanon, realized that paganism was thriving in Lebanon, so he set out to convert the pagans to Christians by introducing them to the way of St Maroun.

526        May 20, An earthquake killed 250,000 in Antioch, Turkey. This was the capital of Syria from 300-64BCE.  [see May 29]
    (MC, 5/20/02)

526        May 29, A devastating earthquake destroyed the city of Antioch. [see May 20]
    (AM, 11/00, p.69)

540-560    In Syria the monastery of St. Moses the Abyssinian (Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi) was built in the middle of the sixth century, and belonged to the Syrian Antiochian Rite. The site was abandoned after several hundred years, but was revived in the late 1980s by Italian Jesuit Paolo Dall’Oglio.
    (http://tinyurl.com/kudtzxa)(Econ, 8/10/13, p.42)

600-700CE    Calinicus, an engineer from Heliopolis, Syria, is thought to have brought “Greek fire," (flammable petrochemicals) to Constantinople.
    (AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.57)

628        Apr 3, In Persia, Kavadh sued for peace with the Byzantines. He handed back Armenia, Byzantine Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine and Egypt.
    (HN, 4/3/99)

632-661    The Rashidun Caliphate, also known as the Rightly Guided Caliphate, comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia in the east. It was the one of the largest empires in history up until that time.

636        Aug 15, At the Battle at Yarmuk, east of the Sea of Galilee, Islamic forces beat a Byzantine army and gained control of Syria.
    (PC, 1992, p.61)

661        The Umayyad regime was founded by Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan (602-680, long-time governor of Syria, after the end of the First Muslim Civil War.
661        Muawija became caliph. He moved the capital from Medina to Damascus. His followers were called the Umayyads. Muawija was one of the soldiers who helped capture Damascus and for 25 years he had served as governor of Syria. Muawija began the practice of appointing his own son as the next caliph, and so the Umayyads ruled for the next 90 years. Muslim forces expanded into North Africa and completely conquered Persia. The Islamic Empire continued to expand into Afghanistan and Pakistan. After the Omayyad Caliphs conquered Damascus, they build the palace at Qasr Al-Kharaneh (in Jordan) as a recreational lodge.
    (ATC, p.67,78)(SFEC, 4/11/99, p.9)

686        Aug 2, John V, 1st Greek-Syrian Pope (685-86), died.
    (MC, 8/2/02)

697        The first Arab Islamic currency was struck in Damascus by the Umayyad ruler Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (697-698 A.D.)

701        Sep 8, Sergius I, Syrian and Italian Pope (687-701), died.
    (MC, 9/8/01)

c800-900    The Alawi faith was founded by a 9th century Muslim, who declared himself the “gateway" to the divine truth and abandoned Islam.
    (WSJ, 6/12/00, p.A30)

1058        Al-Ma’arri (b.973), a blind Syrian philosopher, poet and writer, died. He attacked the dogmas of religion and rejected the claim that Islam or any other religion possessed the truths they claimed.
    (Econ, 7/13/13, SR p.13)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Ma%CA%BFarri)

1098        Dec 12, The 1st Crusaders captured and plundered Mara, Syria.
    (MC, 12/12/01)

1099        Jan 13, Crusaders set fire to Mara, Syria.
    (MC, 1/13/02)

1110        Dec 4, Syria harbor city of Saida (Sidon) surrendered to the Crusaders.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1124        May 6, Balak, Emir of Aleppo (Syria), was murdered.
    (MC, 5/6/02)

1126        Nov 26, Al-Borsoki, emir of Aleppo-Mosoel (Syria), was assassinated.
    (MC, 11/26/01)

1133-1193    Rashid Al-Din Sinan, also known as "The Old Man of the Mountain," was a leader of the Assassins. He used the Syrian Masyaf castle as a base for spreading the beliefs of the Nizari Ismaili sect of Islam to which he and his followers belonged.
    (www.iis.ac.uk/view_article.asp?ContentID=104843)(Reuters, 7/13/07)

1144        In Syria the Knights Hospitallers began expanding a fortress 90 miles northwest of Damascus. It became known as The Crac des Chevaliers. The Mamelukes captured it in 1271 and converted the chapel into a mosque.
    (WSJ, 1/31/09, p.W12)

1148        Jul 24, Crusaders, led by Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, attacked Damascus. It was a dismal failure and effectively ended the 2nd Crusade.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Crusade)(V.D.-H.K.p.109)(ON, 6/12, p.5)

1174        Nureddin, the ruler of Syria died. Saladin, the vizier of Egypt, married Nureddin’s widow and assumed control of both state. The Ayyubids under Saladin spent the next decade launching conquests throughout the region and by 1183, the territories under their control included Egypt, Syria, northern Mesopotamia, Hejaz, Yemen, and the North African coast up to the borders of modern-day Tunisia.
    (ON, 6/07, p.5)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayyubid_dynasty)

1176        May 22, There was a murder attempt by "Assassins" (hashish-smoking mountain killers) on Saladin near Aleppo.
    (MC, 5/22/02)

1187        Jul 4, In the Battle of Hittin (Tiberias) Saladin defeated Reynaud of Chatillon. Salah al Din, who ruled from his imperial seat in ancient Syria, defeated Christian armies of the Crusaders and forced their retreat from the Holy Land. The battle was depicted in a mosaic that was found and restored for the palace of Pres, Hafez Assad of Syria. Saladin personally executed Crusader Reynaud of Chatillon (b.1124/5). Reynaud of Chatillon, Lord of Kerak, Jordan, had violated twice violated a tenuous truce and earlier this year attacked a caravan of pilgrims returning from Mecca.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raynald_of_Chatillon)(WSJ, 9/30/96, p.A1)(Econ, 5/30/09, p.24)

1193        Mar 3, Saladin [Salah ed-Din]) Yusuf ibn Ayyub (52), sultan of Egypt and Syria (1175-1193), died.
    (WUD, 1994 p.1261)(SC, 3/3/02)

1201        Jul 5, An earthquake in Syria and upper Egypt killed some 1.1 million people.

1218        Aug 31, Al-Malik ab-Adil, Saphadin, Saif al-Din, brother of Saladin, died.
    (MC, 8/31/01)

1260        Mar 1, Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis, conquered Damascus.
    (SC, 3/1/02)

1271        The Mamelukes under Sultan Baibars captured The Crac des Chevaliers in Syria and converted the chapel into a mosque. It had been held by the Knights Hospitallers since 1144.
    (WSJ, 1/31/09, p.W12)(SSFC, 11/1/09, p.M5)

1328        Sep 26, Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah (b.1263), a Sunni Islamic scholar born in Harran, located in what is now Turkey, died. He lived in Damascus during the troubled times of the Mongol invasions. As a member of the school founded by Ibn Hanbal, he sought the return of Islam to its sources: the Qur'an and the Sunnah. He had adopted the notion of takfir, denouncing as apostates Muslims whom he deemed wayward, a crime punishable by death.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Taymiyyah)(Econ, 7/14/07, p.30)(Econ, 7/25/15, p.69) (http://tinyurl.com/pfxhrq3)

c1400-1500    A Damascus cookbook titled “Kitab al-Tibakha" included a recipe that said “brown noodles in the oven and cook them with rice." The SF treat Rice-A-Roni began using the same basic recipe in 1958.
    (SFC, 11/25/98, Z1 p.5)

1492        Jews began arriving in Morocco, Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world after their expulsion from Spain.
    (SFEC, 7/25/99, p.T11)(SSFC, 6/28/09, p.A8)

1496        Mar 12, Jews were expelled from Syria.
    (HN, 3/12/98)

1497        Jan 6, Jews were expelled from Graz, Syria. [see Mar 12, 1496]
    (MC, 1/6/02)

1516        Aug 24, At the Battle of Marj Dabik, north of Aleppo, the Turks beat Syria. Suliman I (Selim the Grim), the Ottoman Sultan, routed the Mamelukes (Egypt) with the support of artillery capturing Aleppo and Damascus. This opened the way to 400 years of Ottoman Turkish rule over most of the Arab world.
    (PC, 1992, p.169)(Econ, 11/14/09, p.101)

1799        Feb 10, Napoleon Bonaparte left Cairo, Egypt, for Syria, at the head of 13,000 men.
    (AP, 2/10/99)

1837        Jan 22, An earthquake in southern Syria killed thousands.
    (MC, 1/22/02)

1840        Feb 5, In Damascus, Syria, Father Thomas, originally from Sardinia, and the superior of a Franciscan convent at Damascus, disappeared with his servant. 13 prominent Jews were falsely accused of the ritual murder of the Franciscan monk and his servant. The “Damascus Affair" inspired international protests. In 2004 Ronald Florence authored “Blood Libel: The Damascus Affair of 1840."
    (SSFC, 6/28/09, p.A8)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus_affair)

1860        Jul, Fighting in Lebanon spilled over into Damascus. With the connivance of the military authorities and Turkish soldiers, Muslim fanatics organized pogroms which lasted three days (July 9-11). 25,000 Christians were killed including the American and Dutch consuls. Churches and missionary schools were set on fire. Many Christians were saved through the intervention of the Muslim Algerian exile Abd al-Qadir and his soldiers.

1860        France sent 5,000 troops to Syria to stop the massacre of Maronite Christians at the hands of the Druze, which the Ottoman authorities were neither willing nor able to stop.
    (SFC, 9/7/08, Books p.5)

1876        Aug 19, George Smith (b.1840), British Assyriologist, died of dysentery in Syria. He was on his way home from a 3rd trip to Mesopotamia. Smith had completed the translation of the complete Epic of Gilgamesh in 1874.
    (ON, 11/07, p.6)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Smith_(assyriologist))

1883        May 20, Faisal ibn Husayn (d.1933), the 3rd son of the grand sherif of Mecca, was born in Mecca. He later became 1st king of Syria (1920) and Iraq (1921).

1915        Aug 29, Syriac Catholic bishop Flavien Michel Melki (b.1858) and his Chaldean counterpart, Monsignor Philippe-Jacques Abraham, were murdered in Cizre by Ottoman forces for refusing to renounce Christianity. In 2015 Melki was officially recognized as a "martyr" of the Catholic church and beatified by Pope Francis.
    (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavien_Michel_Melki)(AP, 8/30/15)   

1916        May 19, The Sykes-Picot Agreement was a secret understanding between the governments of Britain and France defining their respective spheres of post-World War I influence and control in the Middle East. The boundaries of this agreement still remains in much of the common border between Syria and Iraq. Britain and France carved up the Levant into an assortment of monarchies, mandates and emirates. The agreement enshrined Anglo-French imperialist ambitions at the end of WW II. Syria and Lebanon were put into the French orbit, while Britain claimed Jordan, Iraq, the Gulf states and the Palestinian Mandate. Sir Mark Sykes (d.1919 at age 39) and Francois Picot made the deal.
    (WSJ, 2/27/00, p.A17)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sykes-Picot_Agreement)

1918        Oct 1, Damascus (Syria) fell to Arab forces as Turkish Ottoman officials surrendered the city.
    (ON, 10/05, p.9)(AP, 10/1/08)

1918        Arab Prince Faisal (1885-1933), aka Feisal, took control of Syria.
    (ON, 10/05, p.9)(Econ, 2/8/14, p.79)

1920        Mar, Faisal I ibn Hussein ibn Ali became the 1st king Syria.

1920        Jul 23, King Faisal's Arab Army was defeated at Maysaloun and Syria fell effectively under French.
    (AP, 7/23/97)

1920        The French carved Lebanon out of Syria to create a predominantly Christian country. A constitution was drawn up that required the president to be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of parliament a Shiite.
    (SFC, 9/28/98, p.A10)

1920-1946    Syria was a French-mandated territory.
    (SFC, 7/18/98, p.A11)

1921        Mar 12, The Cairo Conference, called by Winston Churchill, convened to establish a unified British policy in the Middle East. Britain and France carved up Arabia and created Jordan under Emir Abdullah; his brother Faisal became King of Iraq. France was given influence over Syria and Jewish immigration was allowed into Palestine.  Faisal I died one year after independence and his son, Ghazi I succeeded him. Colonial Sec. Winston Churchill wanted to keep an air corridor to Iraq, where the Royal Air Force was dropping poison gas on rebellious Arab tribes.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairo_Conference_%281921%29)(SSFC, 10/14/01, p.D3)(Econ, 7/13/13, SR p.5)

1923        Jul 24, The Treaty of Lausanne, which settled the boundaries of modern Greece and Turkey, was concluded in Switzerland. It replaced the Treaty of Sevres and divided the lands inhabited by the Kurds between Turkey, Iraq and Syria. Article 39 allowed Turkish nationals to use any language they wished in commerce, public and private meetings, and publications. The treaty specifically protected the rights of the Armenian, Greek and Jewish communities. The former provinces of Baghdad, Basra and Mosul were lumped together to form Iraq. Both countries agreed to a massive exchange of religious minorities. Christians were deported from Turkey to Greece and Muslims from Greece to Turkey. A Muslim community of at least 100,000 was allowed in northern Greece. In 2006 Bruce Clark authored “Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions that Forged Modern Greece and Turkey."
    (WSJ, 3/20/97, p.A17)(AP, 7/24/97)(SSFC, 12/22/02, p.A14)(Econ, 3/19/05, Survey p.9)(Econ, 10/14/06, p.50)(Econ, 12/9/06, p.92)(Econ, 10/16/10, p.72)

1924        Mar 3, Kemal Ataturk forced the abolition of the Muslim caliphate through the protesting assembly and banned all Kurdish schools, publications and associations. This ended the Ottoman Empire and created the modern Middle East, though Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia were still colonies of Britain and France.
    (WSJ, 2/11/99, p.A24)(SSFC, 10/14/01, p.A3)

1925        The Great Syrian Revolt, aka the Great Druze Revolt, was aimed against the French occupation in place since 1918. It was put down by the French by 1927.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Syrian_Revolt)(Econ, 7/11/15, p.73)

1926        May 19, French air force bombed Damascus, Syria. The French launched a major military campaign in Syria to suppress a revolt by the Druze, which began in 1925 under the leadership of Sultan al-Atrash. A large French force sent against them was defeated and the revolt spread into the Druze portions of Lebanon. When the insurgents gained a foothold in Damascus, the French bombarded the city.
    (HNQ, 5/25/99)(MC, 5/19/02)

1930        Oct 6, Hafez Assad, president from 1970-2000, was born. This was the official date but research indicated that he was born several years earlier. The family’s official name had been changed from Wahsh (wild beast or monster) to Assad (lion).
    (WSJ, 6/12/00, p.A30)

1930        Ali Ahmed Said, poet later known as Adonis, was born in Syria. He became a naturalized Lebanese citizen in 1960. His work included the 1970’s poem “The Funeral of New York," and the book “Transformations of the Lover" (1984).
    (SSFC, 9/30/01, DB p.63)

1937        The Alawite state, created under a French mandate, was incorporated into modern-day Syria. Under the French mandate, the Alawites had been granted an autonomous territory stretching in a band along the coast from the Lebanese border to the Turkish border.
    (AP, 7/25/12)

1941        Nov 26, Free French General Georges Catroux was placed in control of Syria and Lebanon. Shortly after taking up this post, Catroux recognized the independence of Syria and Lebanon in the name of the Free French movement.

1943        Aug 18, Shukri Kouatly was elected president of Syria.

1945        Feb 26, Syria declared war on Germany and Japan. [see Mar 26]
    (HN, 2/26/98)

1945        Mar 26, Syria declared war on Germany. [see Feb 26]
    (HN, 3/25/98)

1945        Oct 20, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon formed the Arab League to present a unified front against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.
    (HN, 10/20/98)

1946        Apr 12, Syria gained independence from France.
    (MC, 4/12/02)

1946        Apr 17, The last French troops left Syria.
    (HN, 4/17/98)

1946        The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hasan al-Banna (d.1949), opened a branch in Syria. Branches soon began spreading across the globe.
    (WSJ, 12/8/95, p.A-8)(WSJ, 9/21/01, p.A16)(WSJ, 9/7/04, p.A20)(Econ, 6/4/05, p.44)

1947        Dec 2, A Syrian mob burned a synagogue where the Aleppo Codex was hidden. This followed a UN resolution calling for the creation of Arab and Jewish states in Palestine Nearly two-thirds of the pages were retrieved by congregant, Mourad Faham. But 196 pages vanished, including books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah, as well as pages from other books.
    (AP, 9/27/08)(SSFC, 6/28/09, p.A8)

1947        The Syrian Baath Party was created and Hafez Assad became a member.
    (WSJ, 6/12/00, p.A30)

1948        May 15, Hours after declaring its independence, the new state of Israel was attacked by Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
    (AP, 5/15/97)

1948        May 20, Israel made the 1st use of its Air Force and claimed its 1st war victory with the defeat of the Syrian army.
    (MC, 5/20/02)

1949        Mar, In Syria a group of army officers staged a coup against elected Pres. Shukri Kouatly.
    (Econ, 7/13/13, SR p.5)

1949        Jul 20, Israel's 19 month war of independence ended with a ceasefire agreement with Syria.

1949        Aug 5, A bomb exploded at a synagogue in Damascus, Syria, killing 12 people.
    (SSFC, 6/28/09, p.A8)(http://tinyurl.com/loxc6n)

1954        A French military court sentenced Alois Brunner to death in absentia for war crimes. He had sent 23,000 French Jews to death camps. Brunner fled from Germany to Syria.
    (SFC, 3/3/01, p.A10)

1955        Dec 11, Israel launched an attack on Syrian positions along the Sea of Galilee.
    (EWH, 1968, p.1241)(HN, 12/11/98)

1957        In Syria the Yarmouk Palestinian camp was created. It became the larges of 9 and evolved into a densely populated residential district just five miles (eight km) from the center of Damascus.
    (AP, 1/8/13)

1958        Feb 1, Syria and Egypt formed the United Arab Republic. Most Syrians resented the merger, which was led by the radical Baath (Arab Socialist Resurrection) party. The union of Syria and Egypt was dissolved in 1961 following a coup in Syria. Egypt kept the name United Arab Republic until 1971.
    (WUD, 1994, p.1555)(HNQ, 6/5/98)(AP, 2/1/08)

1958        Feb 5, Gamel Abdel Nasser was formally nominated to become the first president of the new United Arab Republic. Egypt used the UAR name from 1961-1971.
    (AP, 2/5/97)(WUD, 1994, p.1555)

1958        Feb 21, Egypt-Syria as UAR elected Gamel Nasser president with a 99.9% vote.
    (MC, 2/21/02)

1961        Syria withdrew from the UAR following a coup.
    (WUD, 1994, p.1555)(HNQ, 6/5/98)

1961        Syria revoked the citizenship of its native Kurds.
    (Econ, 4/23/05, p.46)(http://tinyurl.com/7zamn)

1962        Jun 23, The Syrian government conducted a special population census only for the province of Jazira which was predominantly Kurdish. As a result, around 120,000 Kurds in Jazira were arbitrarily categorized as aliens.

1963        Mar, In Syria the pan-Arab Baath party staged a coup. Hafez Assad played an important role. Amin Hafez 1920-2009) was brought to power by the military coup only to be overthrown three years later.
    (WSJ, 6/12/00, p.A30)(SSFC, 5/4/03, p.A11)(AP, 12/18/09)

1963        The Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Syria following the Baath party coup.
    (Econ, 2/18/12, p.50)

1964        Dec 31, Syrian-based al-Fatah guerrillas of Yasser Arafat launched their 1st raid on Israel with the aim of provoking a retaliation and sparking an Arab war against Israel. Fatah, a Palestinian movement for independence, made the first terror attack on Israel and initiated the armed struggle for a state.
    (WSJ, 1/22/98, p.A1)(SFEC, 1/2/00, p.A24)(WSJ, 6/5/02, p.D7)

1965        May 18, Eli Cohen, who arrived in Syria in 1962, was hanged in a public square in Damascus for spying for Israel until his capture. As businessman Kamal Amin Thabit he worked his way into the upper echelons of Syrian government and society, feeding Israel with valuable political and military intelligence.
    (AP, 5/30/10)

1965        Hafez al-Assad became Syria's defense minister. He was a member of the Alawite clan, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Nearly 80% of Syrians are Sunnis.
    (WSJ, 1/9/96, p.A-1)
1965        The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), a state media organization linked to the Ministry of Information, was established.

1966        Feb, The Alawis took power and presented themselves as standard Muslims. Hafez Assad, a member of the Alawite clan, was rewarded for his role and appointment as Defense Minister. Nearly 80% of Syrians are Sunnis.
    (WSJ, 1/9/96, p.A-1)(WSJ, 6/12/00, p.A30)

1966        Mar 1, The Baath-party took power in Syria. Among the fighters who had a part in toppling Amin Hafez was Hafez Assad, who became president four years later and ruled Syria with an iron fist for three decades.
    (SC, 3/1/02)(AP, 12/18/09)

1967        Apr 7, A, Israeli-Syrian minor border incident escalated into a full-scale aerial battle over the Golan Heights, resulting in the loss of six Syrian MiG-21s to Israeli Air Force (IAF) Dassault Mirage IIIs, and the latter's flight over Damascus.

1967        Jun 5, The Six Day War erupted in the Middle East as Israel, convinced an Arab attack was imminent, raided Egyptian military targets. Syria, Jordan and Iraq entered the conflict. Jordan lost the West Bank, an area of 2,270 sq. miles. War broke out as Israel reacted to the removal of UN peace-keeping troops, Arab troop movements and the barring of Israeli ships in the Gulf of Aqaba.
    (AP, 6/5/97)(HN, 6/5/98)(NG, 5/93, p.58)(HNQ, 5/22/00)
1967        Jun 5-1967 Jun 10, Israel fought the Six-Day War against Syria and captured the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Allegations that Israeli soldiers killed hundreds of Egyptian prisoners with the knowledge of national leaders were made by Israeli historians in 1995. Israel occupied Syrian territory. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank were captured by Israel. Israel annexed the largely Arab East Jerusalem, which included the Old City, and has since ringed it with Jewish neighborhoods.
    (WSJ, 8/17/95, p.A-1)(WSJ,11/24/95, p.A-1)(WSJ, 5/6/96, p.A-13)(SFC, 6/25/96, p.A10)(SFC, 1/22/98, p.B12)(SFC, 4/24/98, p.A17)

1967        Jun 10, Israel completed its final offensive in the Golan Heights in the 6-Day Middle East War. The next day Israel and Syria agreed to observe a United Nations-mediated cease-fire. Israel took Gaza and the Sinai from Egypt, Old Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. In 2002 Michael B. Oren authored "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the making of the Modern Middle East." Israeli military historian Arieh Yitzhaki later said that his research showed Israeli troops killed 300 Egyptian prisoners of war. Israel said soldiers on both sides committed atrocities. In 2007 Tom Segev authored “1967: Israel, the War and the Year that Transformed the Middle East."
    (AP, 6/10/97)(WSJ, 6/5/02, p.D7)(AP, 3/6/07)(Econ, 5/26/07, p.97)

1967        Jun 11, Israel and Syria accepted a UN cease-fire. The UN brokered a cease-fire between Israel and the defeated Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, ending the Six-Day War with Israel occupying the Sinai, West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Israel annexed the largely Arab East Jerusalem, which included the Old City, and has since ringed it with Jewish neighborhoods.
    (HN, 6/11/98)(AP, 6/11/03)(SFC, 6/25/96, p.A10)

1968        Hafez Assad was appointed as Field Marshal.
    (WSJ, 6/12/00, p.A30)

1969        Feb, Gen. Hafez al-Assad became head of Syria.

1970        Nov 12, Hafez al-Assad (1930-2000), Syrian defense minister, had his opponents arrested and took full control of Syria.

1970        Nov 27, Syria joined the pact linking Libya, Egypt and Sudan.
    (HN, 11/27/98)

1971        Jul 13-1971 Jul 19, Jordanian troops proceeded to wipe out Palestinian guerrillas; some 1,500 prisoners were brought to Amman; Iraq and Syria soon broke off relations with Jordan.
    (WUD, 1994, p. 1688)(www.onwar.com/aced/data/bravo/blacksept1970.htm)

1971        Aug 12, Syrian Pres Assad dropped diplomatic relations with Jordan.

1971        Syria allowed Russia to establish its only naval facility in the Mediterranean.
    (Econ., 4/18/15, p.42)

1973        Sep 13, Israel shot down 12 Syrian aircraft to1 Israeli loss when IAF jets were attacked during a reconnaissance mission over Syrian territory.

1973        Oct 6, The fourth Arab-Israeli war in 25 years was fought. Israel was taken by surprise when Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan attacked on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, beginning the Yom Kippur War. Syria tried to regain the Golan Heights with a massive attack with 1,500 tanks. The assault, empowered by Russian equipment, was repulsed by air power.
    (WSJ, 5/6/96, p.A-13)(TMC, 1994, p.1973)(AP, 10/6/97)(HN, 10/6/98)(Econ, 3/16/13, p.54)

1973        Oct 16, OPEC, the Arab oil-producing nations, announced they would begin cutting back on oil exports to Western nations and Japan. The next day, the five Arab members of the OPEC committee were joined in Kuwait by the oil ministers of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, and Syria. The result was a total embargo that lasted until March 1974 and caused oil prices to quadruple.
    (www.harvardir.org/articles/1659/)(AP, 10/17/97)(WSJ, 7/28/03, p.A8)

1973        Oct 22, Israeli troops reconquered Mount Hermon from Syria. The UN Security Council Resolution 338 called for a cease fire to the Yom Kippur War. The UN Security Council issued Resolution 338 calling for a ceasefire and the start of negotiations aimed at implementation of Resolution 242.

1973        Oct 23, In the Yom Kippur War Syria announced it had accepted a UN sanctioned cease-fire, and the Iraqi government ordered its forces home.

1973        Oct 24, The UNSC passed Resolution 339, serving as a renewed call for all parties to adhere to the cease fire terms established in Resolution 338. Organized fighting on all fronts ended by October 26.

1973        Dec 21, Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, US and USSR leaders met in Geneva. The Geneva Conference of 1973 was an attempt to negotiate a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict as called for in UN Security Council Resolution 338 which was passed after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

1973        Syria acquired chemical weapons from Egypt just before war with Israel.
    (SSFC, 5/4/03, p.A11)

1973        Canadian Judy Feld Carr established a network to help Syrian Jews, barred from traveling, to leave the country clandestinely. Over the next 28 years she helped over 3,000 Jews leave Syria.
    (SSFC, 6/28/09, p.A8)

1974        May 31, Israel and Syria signed an agreement on the Golan Heights.
    (HN, 5/31/98)

1974        Quneitra, a city in the Golan Heights destroyed by Israel, was returned to Syria. It was preserved by Syria as an example of Israeli brutality.
    (SSFC, 5/6/01, p.A14)

1974        Haitham Naal, a communist dissident, was convicted for his affiliation with the Arab Communist Organization. 5 members were sentenced to death and executed. Naal was freed in 2002 due to deteriorating health.
    (SFC, 8/12/02, p.A8)

1976        Aug 12, Syrian backed Christian militias completed their siege of the Tell al-Za'tar Palestinian camp in Lebanon leaving some 2000 people killed.

1976        Nov 15, A Syrian peace force took control of Beirut, Lebanon. The Arab League gave Syria a peacekeeping mandate.
    (HN, 11/15/98)(SFC, 4/27/05, p.A8)

1976        Nov 21, Syrian army completed its final phase of occupation of Lebanon.
    (AP, 11/21/02)

1976        The film “The Message" by Syrian-American producer Moustapha Akkad (d.2005) told the story the Prophet Mohammad and the emergence of Islam.
    (SFC, 11/24/05, p.E2)

1977        Mar 16, In Lebanon Kamal Jumblatt (60) was killed. He was the leader of Lebanon’s Druze community, a member of the Lebanese Parliament and a Socialist-nationalist supporter of Palestinians. Jumblatt was assassinated by the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, which he had legalized as interior minister some years earlier.
    (Econ, 11/28/09, p.49)(http://tinyurl.com/yzgycku)

1977        Nov 19, The Libyan flag was adopted, after Libya left the Federation of Arabs Republic, which consisted of Libya, Egypt and Syria.

1978        Oct 2, Syrian troops pounded Christian districts of Beirut with heavy artillery and rocket fire early today, and right-wing officials said Lebanese militias were fighting back with every weapon they had.

1979        Jun 16, In Aleppo, Syria, Captain Ibrahim el-Yousuf, the officer on duty (in charge of moral and political steering and head of Ba’ath Party Unit) at the Military Artillery school, committed a massacre, killing 32 cadets and wounding 54 others. The culprits targeted cadets from the Alawite sect, however the then minister of information Mr. Ahmad Iskander Ahmad stated that they included Christians and Sunni Muslims. Immediately after the massacre, a country-wide campaign was started to uproot the Muslim Brotherhood organization.

1980        Feb 4, Syria withdrew its peacekeeping force in Beirut.
    (HN, 2/4/99)

1980        Jun 26, In Syria there was an assassination attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood on Pres. Assad. Syrian security forces retaliated by killing hundreds of Islamist inmates at the Tadmur prison. The Syrian public did not find out about this until January 1981.
    (http://tinyurl.com/5u5jw7)(Econ, 5/30/15, p.82)

1980        Aug, Iraq and Syria broke diplomatic ties after Damascus sided with Iran just before the Iran-Iraq war.
    (SFC, 2/28/00, p.C2)

1980        Abdullah Ocalan (b.1948), leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) crossed the border to Syria just before the September 12 Turkish military coup.
    (WSJ, 3/7/97, p.A10)(SFC, 1/6/99, p.A7)
1980        In Syria membership in the Muslim Brotherhood became punishable by death.
    (Econ, 2/18/12, p.50)
1980        In Syria a rebellion against President Hafez al-Assad in Jisr al-Shughour, a town of 50,000, was crushed with scores of deaths.
    (Reuters, 4/25/15)

1981        Apr 2, Heavy battle took place between Christian militia and Syrian army in East Lebanon. Casualties and injuries were in the hundreds.

1981        The film “Lion in the Desert" by Syrian-American producer Moustapha Akkad (d.2005) told the story of Omar Mukhtar, hero of the Libyan resistance to Italian colonization during the Mussolini era.
    (SFC, 11/24/05, p.E2)

1982        Feb 2, Pres. Hafez Assad ordered the Syrian army under his brother, Rifaat Assad, to crush a fundamentalist Muslim revolt in Hama. At least 10,000 residents were massacred. The Muslim Brotherhood played a role in the crushed uprising.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hama_Massacre)(Econ, 10/27/07, p.33)(Econ, 2/18/12, p.50)

1982        Jun 9, Israel wiped out Syrian SAM missiles in Bekaa Valley.

1983        Nov 25, Syria and Saudi Arabia announced a cease-fire in PLO civil war in Tripoli.

1983        Nov, Hafez Assad, president of Syria, suffered a heart attack and his brother Rifat (b.1937) tried to take power by moving tanks against other Alawite chieftains. Hafez Assad recovered and stripped Rifat of power.
    (SFC, 6/13/00, p.A10)(www.meib.org/articles/0006_sd.htm)

1983        Dec 4, US jet fighters struck Syrian anti-aircraft positions in Lebanon in retaliation for Syrian-backed attacks on the US peacekeeping force. The Syrian anti-air defense shut down two American airplanes and a pilot was captured. The positions of the Marines at the Beirut International Airport were bombarded. Eight Marines were killed.
    (http://tinyurl.com/35ek6z)(SFC, 4/27/05, p.A8)

1984        Mar, Hafez Assad, president of Syria, appointed his brother Rifaat as one of Syria's three Vice-presidents (a relatively powerless position) and issued a decree transferring his command of the Defense Companies to another military officer.

1984        May, Hafez Assad, president of Syria, sent his brother Rifaat on a working visit to the USSR and ousted Rifaat’s associates at home. Rifaat moved to Geneva and began conspiring against the regime, reportedly meeting with Yasser Arafat, his brother's arch enemy at the time. Rifaat spent most of his time in France, Switzerland and Spain, though he retained the nominal position of vice-president until February 1998. He returned to Syria in 1992 following the death of his mother and stayed there off and on until 1998, when he again went into exile.

1984        Syria began the production of nerve gas.
    (SSFC, 5/4/03, p.A11)

1985        Aug, Syrian Sedki al-Maket was arrested for resisting the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights. He served a 27 year prison sentence and in 2012 returned to his home town.
    (AFP, 8/22/12)

1985        Dec 28, A Syrian sponsored peace agreement was signed in Damascus between warring Lebanese Moslem and Christian leaders.

1985        Syria began manufacturing chemical warheads for missiles.
    (SSFC, 5/4/03, p.A11)

1987        Syria sent troops into West Beirut to enforce a cease-fire.
    (SFC, 4/27/05, p.A8)

1988        Patrick Seale (d.2014), British journalist and writer on Middle Eastern affairs authored a biography of Syrian President Hafez Assad, "Assad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East" (1988).
    (AP, 4/14/14)

1989        Nov, Turkey’s Pres. Turgut Ozal (1927-1993) alarmed Syria and Iraq when he announced that the flow of the Euphrates River would be held back for a month to fill the Ataturk dam. Flow was increased for 2 months before the cutback to offset the loss.
    (NG, 5/93, p.49)(http://tinyurl.com/2mmycb)

1989        Rafik Hariri financed a gathering of Lebanese politicians at the Saudi city of Taif to hammer out a deal to disband militias and distribute power more equitably. The Taif Agreement maintained sectarian divisions in government and led to the end of the civil war. It stipulated that Syria withdraw its troops to the border and leave within 2 years.
    (SFC, 9/28/98, p.A10)(SFC, 4/4/02, p.A13)(Econ, 2/19/05, p.43)

1989        In Lebanon PM Michel Aoun waged a “war of liberation" against Syrian forces. Pro-Syrian legislator Elias Hrawi was elected president.
    (SFC, 4/27/05, p.A8)

1990        Oct 13, In Lebanon, rebel Christian General Michel Aoun ended his mutiny against the government. Syrian forces defeated the army under Aoun. Jihad Georges Eid (20) a soldier in the Lebanese army, was taken from Lebanon by Syrian troops on the day of the last battle in the civil war. For the next 20 plus years, more than 600 families, Lebanese and Palestinian, Muslim and Christian, demanded authorities reveal the fate of thousands of political prisoners believed to have disappeared at the hands of Syrian troops.
    (AP, 10/13/00)(SFC, 4/27/05, p.A8)(AFP, 10/13/11)

1991        May 12, Syrian President Hafez Assad, meeting with US Secretary of State James A. Baker the Third, refused to yield on key demands for joining a Middle East peace conference.
    (AP, 5/12/01)

1991        Jul 20, Lebanon joined Syria in agreeing to participate in Mideast peace talks with Israel.
    (AP, 7/20/01)

1991        Nov 3, Syria opened its first one-on-one meeting with Israel in 43 years.
    (AP, 11/3/01)

1991        In Lebanon Pres. Hrawi signed the “Treaty of Brotherhood, Cooperation and Coordination" with Syrian Pres. Hafez Assad. It formalized the intervention of Syria.
    (SFC, 6/2/00, p.A16)(SFC, 4/27/05, p.A8)

1991        The government passed legislation known as Law No. 10 to facilitate private investment.
    (WSJ, 6/19/00, p.A25)

1991        Akram Ojjeh, Syrian-born financier and art collector, died at age 68. He made his fortune as an arms dealer and investments in oil, hotels, and real estate.
    (WSJ, 9/3/99, p.W10)

1992        Syria’s Pres. Assad allowed many Syrian Jews to travel abroad freely after nearly 45 years of official prohibition from leaving the country.
    (SSFC, 6/28/09, p.A8)

1993        The president's son, Basel, died in a car crash.
    (WSJ, 1/9/96, p.A-1)

1994        Jan 16, President Clinton held marathon talks in Geneva with Syrian President Hafez Assad, who offered Israel "normal, peaceful relations" in exchange for land.
    (AP, 1/16/99)

1994        Jan 21, Basil Assad (b.1961), the son of Syria’s Pres. Hafez Assad, was killed in a car accident.
    (SFEC, 6/11/00, p.A12)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_al-Assad)

1994        Oct 27, In the first trip to Syria by an American president in 20 years, Pres. Clinton met with Syrian President Hafez Assad before heading to Jerusalem to meet with Israeli officials.
    (AP, 10/27/99)

1996        May 27, The latest of a series of explosions left a small crater outside the walls of the Old City of Damascus.
    (SFC, 6/10/96, C3)

1996        Dec 31, A New Year’s Eve bomb on a bus killed 9 and injured 44.
    (SFC, 1/3/97, p.A17)

1996        Dec 31, the number of political prisoners rose to 2,800, a hundred more than the previous year.
    (SFC, 2/26/97, p.A8)

1996        The Zeyzoun Dam was built to collect water from the Orontes River. It burst in 2002.
    (SFC, 6/8/02, p.A26)

1996        Syria acquired new chemical weapons technology from Russia.
    (SSFC, 5/4/03, p.A11)

1997        May 6, It was reported that Syrian missiles were tipped with VX, a lethal chemical that kills on contact with the skin. The Syrian chemical weapons program was assisted by Anatoly Kuntsevich, former head of the Russian Army’s Chemical Troops. The existing stockpile of Sarin, the nerve gas used by the terrorists in Tokyo, was hoped to be upgraded to VX.
    (WSJ, 5/6/97, p.A22)

1997        May 15, Saadallah Wannous, playwright, died at 56 in Damascus. His plays included “A Night Party for July 5," “Rituals of Signs and Changes," “The King Is the King," and “The Rape," an adoption of a Spanish play that was banned.
    (SFC, 5/19/97, p.A24)

1998        Jan 25, The population was reported to have reached 16 million with half under the age of 16.
    (SFEC, 1/25/98, p.A18)

1998        Mar 30, A Syrian-Iraqi Health week started. Health Minister Iyad Shatti arrived in Iraq from Syria with 12 trucks of food and medicine.
    (SFC, 3/30/98, p.A9)

1998        Jun 24, The Clinton administration claimed that Syria has an active chemical weapons program and has armed missiles with the nerve gas sarin.
    (SFC, 6/25/98, p.A9)

1998        Oct 6, Syria anointed army chief Emile Lahoud, a Maronite Christian, as Lebanon’s president.
    (WSJ, 10/7/98, p.A1)(SFC, 10/16/98, p.D2)

1998        Oct 21, Turkey and Syria signed an accord whereby Syria agreed to brand the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) as a terrorist group.
    (SFC, 10/22/98, p.C5)

1999        Feb 10, Pres. Hafez Assad (68) was elected to a 5th 7-year term.
    (SFC, 2/11/99, p.C2)

1999        Nov 29, A bus collided with a train in northern Syria and 11 people were killed.
    (SFC, 11/30/99, p.A17)

1999        Nov, In Damascus Pres. Assad's son, Maher, shot Assef Chawkat, a son-in-law of Pres. Assad and the head of military intelligence. Chawkat was treated in Paris.
    (SFC, 12/1/99, p.C3)

1999        Dec 8, Israel and Syria agreed to resume peace negotiations following a visit by Madeleine Albright to Damascus.
    (SFC, 12/9/99, p.A1)

1999        Dec 15, With President Clinton’s close mediation, Syria reopened peace talks with Israel in Washington.
    (AP, 12/15/00)

1999        Dec 16, Israel and Syria ended a first round of peace talks and scheduled a resumption for Jan 3.
    (SFC, 12/17/99, p.A12)

2000        Jan 17, The Clinton administration announced that talks between Israel and Syria had been postponed indefinitely.
    (SFC, 1/18/00, p.A1)

2000        Feb 28, It was reported that Iraq and Syria had established diplomatic ties that were cut in Aug 1980 when Damascus sided with Iran just before the Iran-Iraq war.
    (SFC, 2/28/00, p.C2)

2000        Mar 26, Pres. Clinton met with Pres. Assad of Syria in Geneva but failed to get an agreement to revive peace talks with Israel.
    (WSJ, 3/27/00, p.A1)

2000        Mar, Prime Minister Mahmoud el-Zoubi resigned after serving 13 years.
    (SFC, 6/15/00, p.A16)

2000        Mar, A new prime minister and several other ministers were appointed. The new government cut taxes on new joint stock companies from 56% to 25%.
    (WSJ, 6/19/00, p.A25)

2000        May 21, Syria’s former PM Mahmoud el-Zoubi (al-Zubi) committed suicide rather than answer questions on corruption.
    (SFC, 6/15/00, p.A16)(Econ, 10/15/05, p.50)

2000        Jun 10, In Syria Pres. Hafez Assad (69), the “Lion of Damascus," died. His son Bashar Assad (34) was expected to be named his successor. Assad had given Alawites powerful positions in the army and Baath party while the Sunnis were given a free rein in trade and industry.
    (SFEC, 6/11/00, p.A1)(SFC, 6/15/00, p.A16)

2000        Jun 11, A day after the death of Syrian President Hafez Assad, his son, Bashar, was unanimously nominated by Syria’s ruling Baath Party to succeed his father.
    (AP, 6/11/01)

2000        Jun 12, Rifaat Assad, the brother of Hafez Assad, claimed himself the rightful heir of power in Syria. Syrian security forces were ordered to arrest Rifaat if he entered the country.
    (SFC, 6/13/00, p.A10)

2000        Jun 18, Bashar Assad was elected as sec. gen. of the ruling Baath Party.
    (SFC, 6/19/00, p.A9)

2000        Jun, Gen. Hikmat Al-Shihabi, chief of staff for 20 years until 1998, fled to the US. He was alleged to have illegally earned millions from arms deals.
    (SFC, 6/15/00, p.A16)

2000        Jul 17, Bashar Assad, son of Hafez Assad, began a seven-year term as Syria’s 16th head of state.
    (AP, 7/17/01)

2000        Sep 27, 99 intellectuals published a demand for more democracy and freedom of expression.
    (SFC, 9/29/00, p.D5)

2000        Nov 16, Pres. Bashar Assad announced an amnesty for some 600 political prisoners.
    (SFC, 11/17/00, p.A20)

2000        Nov 21, Pres. Assad ordered the Mezze political prison to be turned into a hospital.
    (WSJ, 11/22/00, p.A1)

2000        Nov, In southern Syria at least 17 people were killed in clashes between urban residents and nomadic shepherds over grazing rights.
    (WSJ, 11/13/00, p.A1)

2000        Nov, Syria opened a pipeline to Iraq’s oil that generated at least $2 per day for Saddam Hussein’s regime.
    (SFC, 1/23/01, p.A11)

2000        Dec 11, Syria freed some 50 Lebanese political prisoners to placate an anti-Syria movement in Lebanon.
    (SFC, 12/12/00, p.B2)

2000        Syrian writer authored “Banquet for Seaweed." Publication in Egypt caused protests for what students claimed as insults to Islam.
    (SFC, 5/9/00, p.A14)

2000        Syria began the 1st of 5 redeployments in Lebanon.
    (SFC, 4/27/05, p.A8)

2001        Jan 21, Syria approved private banking and ended artificial exchange rates.
    (WSJ, 1/22/01, p.A1)

2001        Apr 16, Israeli warplanes struck deep in Lebanon and attacked a Syrian radar site. 3 Syrians were killed.
    (SFC, 4/16/01, p.A9)(WSJ, 4/16/01, p.A1)

2001        May 5, Pres. Bashar Assad greeted Pope John Paul II with a speech against Israel.
    (SSFC, 5/6/01, p.A14)

2001        May 6, In Syria Pope John Paul II prayed in the Great Umayyad Mosque, the 1st time a pontiff ever visited and prayed in a Muslim house of worship.
    (SFC, 5/7/01, p.A1)

2001        May 15, Fidel Castro arrived in Syria from Qatar for a 2-day visit.
    (SFC, 5/16/01, p.D14)

2001        Jun 19, Syria completed a pullout of its forces from Beirut.
    (WSJ, 6/20/01, p.A1)

2001        Sep 9, Najwa bin laden left her husband, Osama bin Laden, in Afghanistan and returned to her native Syria, taking with her a son and her two youngest daughters. Eman, Omar's sister, was left behind with her father and siblings. Omar bin Laden (20) had left the family and Afghanistan earlier in the year.
    (AP, 1/6/10)

2001        Sep 18, The US asked Lebanon and Syria to extradite Palestinian and Lebanese Shiites suspected of terrorism in the past 20 years.
    (WSJ, 9/19/01, p.A12)

2001        Oct 2, Farouk al-Sharaa, the foreign minister, said Syria is determined to help the int’l. effort to combat terrorism. He added that to achieve that goal, terrorism’s roots and causes would have to be addressed.
    (WSJ, 10/3/01, p.A17)

2001        Oct 8, Syria won a seat on the UN Security Council and was opposed only by Israel.
    (SFC, 10/9/01, p.B1)

2001        Nov 19, Egypt and Syria confirmed the extradition of Rifai Ahmed Taha, a former aide to Osama bin Laden, from Syria to Egypt.
    (SFC, 11/20/01, p.A12)

2001        Syria’s first satirical newspaper was founded by cartoonist Ali Farzat. It was shut down by the regime in 2003 after 104 issues.
    (Econ, 12/22/12, p.131)

2001-2003    Canadian citizens Abdullah Almalki, Muayyed Nureddin and Ahmad El Maati were labeled as terrorists and arrested on separate visits to Syria where they were imprisoned and tortured and then released without charge. In 2008 a federal inquiry said Canadian officials indirectly contributed to their torture by wrongly sharing intelligence information with Syria. The men later sued the Canadian government demanding apologies, compensation and the removal of their names from any watch lists.
    (SFC, 10/22/08, p.A2)

2002        Mar 3, Syria’s Pres. Assad officially visited Lebanon for the 1st time in 27 years and met with Lebanon’s Pres. Emile Lahoud.
    (SFC, 3/4/02, p.A5)

2002        Apr 3, Israeli tanks entered the Wet Bank cities of Jenin, Salfeet and Nablus. At least 1 Israeli soldier and 12 Palestinians were killed. Gunners from Lebanon’s Hezbollah exchanged artillery and mortar fire with Israeli troops. Scores of Palestinian gunmen were holed up in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The Egyptian government announced a cutoff of official contacts with Israel. Syria shifted 20,000 troops in Lebanon toward the Lebanese-Syrian border reportedly in accord with the 1989 Taif agreement.
    (SFC, 4/3/02, p.A1)(SFC, 4/4/02, p.A1,13)(WSJ, 4/4/02, p.A1)

2002        Jun 4, In Syria the Zayzoun Dam (b.1996) near Idlib burst and at least 20 people were killed. A 24 square-mile area was flooded and 3 villages submerged.
    (SFC, 6/7/02, p.A13)

2002        Sep 14, In Syria 2 buses collided in the northeast, killing 13 people and injuring four others.
    (AP, 9/15/02)

2002        Sep 26, US immigration officials seized Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian, after his name popped up on a watch list at JFK. US officials refused to allow legal council or a phone call. The CIA questioned him and then handed him over to Syrian intelligence where he was held and tortured for 10 months before being released. The case came to be called an instance of "torture by proxy." In 2006 a Canadian government report said the US "very likely" sent the software engineer to Syria, where he was tortured, based on the false accusation by Canadian authorities that he was suspected of links to al-Qaida.
    (SSFC, 1/4/04, p.D1)(AP, 9/19/06)

2002        Oct 2, In northern Syria mountain homes collapsed after caves beneath them gave way in the Sawad Hill district. 31 people were killed and 22 injured.
    (AP, 10/2/02)(SFC, 10/3/02, p.A9)

2003          Feb 16, A Syrian military truck carrying diesel fuel overturned and caught fire at a Lebanese-Syrian border crossing, killing at least 17 people.
    (AP, 2/16/03)

2003          Mar 2, Syria reportedly finished pulling 4,000 troops out of Lebanon in an effort to reduce tensions and keep radical Sunni groups from attacking Israel.
    (SSFC, 3/2/03, A6)

2003        Mar 23, A US bomb struck a bus at a service area in al-Rutba, Iraq, enroute from Baghdad to Syria. 5 people were killed.
    (SFC, 3/25/03, p.W7)

2003        cApr 15, US forces cut off oil flow from Iraq to Syria. Oil flow had reached 130,000 barrels a day providing both countries over $10 million a month in profits.
    (SFC, 4/11/03, p.A18)

2003        Apr 17, Rafiq Jwaijatti (81), a former Syrian ambassador to the US and a renowned Syrian literary figure, died in Paris.
    (AP, 4/19/03)

2003        Jul 15, Officials reported that Syrian troops had begun dismantling bases in Lebanon.
    (SFC, 7/16/03, p.A3)

2003        Sep 18, Syria's new prime minister formed a 31-member Cabinet, touted as a new effort to carry out economic and bureaucratic reforms.
    (AP, 9/18/03)

2003        Oct 5, Israeli warplanes bombed the Ein Saheb base northwest of Damascus, Syria, in retaliation for a suicide bombing at a Haifa restaurant. Israeli military called it an Islamic Jihad training base. Residents later told the Associated Press the camp was abandoned years ago.
    (AP, 10/5/03)(AP, 10/6/03)

2003        Oct 20, Bush administration officials said some $3 billion of Saddam Hussein's former government was being held in Syria and Lebanon.
    (AP, 10/21/03)

2003        Nov 30, Syria handed over 22 suspects to Turkey in connection with the Nov 16 suicide bombings in Istanbul.
    (SFC, 12/1/03, p.A16)

2003        Nov, In Syria NewBoy Design Studio introduced the Fulla doll, a modest looking doll in Arab dress designed to reflect Arab values. The doll was manufactured at the same factory in Hong Kong that makes the Barbie doll.
    (SFC, 11/24/05, p.A31)(www.un-instraw.org/revista/hypermail/alltickers/en/0111.html)

2003        Dec 3, It was reported that Syria's president had agreed to a proposal to halt violence along Israel's northern border if Israel promises to end flights over Lebanon and not attack its territory.
    (AP, 12/4/03)

2003        Dec 5, Syria continued to reject US pressure to hand over an estimated $250 million that Saddam Hussein's regime had deposited there.
    (WSJ, 12/5/03, p.A1)

2003        Dec 12, Pres. Bush signed legislation calling for economic penalties against Syria for not doing enough to fight terrorism.
    (SFC, 12/13/03, p.A3)

2004        Jan 6, President Bashar Assad began the first-ever visit to Turkey by a Syrian head of state, hoping to further improve ties forge a joint position on growing Kurdish autonomy.
    (AP, 1/6/04)(WSJ, 1/7/04, p.A1)

2004        Mar 8, Syrian authorities broke up a rare protest by human rights activists demanding political and civil reforms on the 41st anniversary of the ruling party's accession to power.
    (AP, 3/8/04)

2004        Mar 12, In Qamishli, Syria, spectators inside the stadium were crushed in a stampede to escape an attack by rival fans and at least 5 people were killed. A riot broke out the next day during funeral services for 3 of the dead. The soccer riots spread to 3 other towns over the next few days and left 25 people dead and more than 100 injured in Kurdish areas of northern Syria.
    (AP, 3/13/04)(AP, 3/19/04)

2004        Apr 11, Syrian Kurdish parties issued a statement saying the Assad regime had arrested hundreds and tortured some to death following the unrest in March.
    (WSJ, 4/12/04, p.A1)

2004        Apr 27, In Damascus 4 gunmen detonated a bomb placed under a car before firing bullets and grenades at Syrian security forces. Hours later police found weapons including rocket propelled grenades and guns during the raid in the nearby town of Khan al-Sheih.
    (AP, 4/28/04)

2004        May 11, The Bush administration ordered economic sanctions against Syria for supporting terrorism. Food and medicine were excepted.
    (SFC, 5/12/04, p.A3)

2004        Sep 15, The Egyptian and Syrian presidents linked calls by the UN and fellow Arab leaders for Syrian troops to leave Lebanon to past UN resolutions demanding that Israeli pull out of the West Bank and Golan Heights.
    (AP, 9/15/04)

2004        Sep 21, Hundreds of Syrian soldiers stationed in the hills near Lebanon's capital began dismantling their bases in an effort to appease a U.N. Security Council demand that all 20,000 Syrian troops leave the country.
    (AP, 9/21/04)

2004        Sep 26, Ezzedin Sheikh Khalil, a senior Hamas operative, was killed in a car bombing outside his house in Damascus, the first such killing of a leader of the Islamic militant group in Syria. The hit was claimed by Israeli security officials.
    (AP, 9/27/04)(Econ, 10/2/04, p.47)

2004        Oct 4, Syrian President Bashar Assad replaced about one-third of his Cabinet, bringing new faces to the key interior and information ministries.
    (AP, 10/4/04)

2004        Dec 22, Turkey and Syria signed a free-trade accord.
    (WSJ, 12/23/04, p.A1)

2004        Dec, Syrian-born Mustafa Setmarian Nasar (b.1958), a.k.a. Abu Musab, Nouradin, Blond Blond, Abu al-Abed, Omar Abdelhakin, Abu Musab al Siri, Umar Abd al-Hakim,  authored "The International Islamic Resistance Call." His book named enemies as "Jews, Americans, British, Russian and any and all of the NATO countries, as well as any country that takes the position of oppressing Islam and Muslims."
    (AP, 8/4/05)

2004        Israel rejected a Syrian attempt to create a channel of communications. In response Alon Liel, a former Israeli ambassador, began talks with Ibrahim Suleiman, a Syrian in Washington with close ties to Pres. Assad, under the mediation of a Swiss diplomat.
    (Econ, 1/20/07, p.55)
2004        Israel’s PM Sharon agreed to allow Druze apple growers in the Golan Heights to trade with Syria. In 2009 the authorized consignment rose to 8,000 tons.
    (Econ, 2/21/09, p.49)

2005        Jan 8, Former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry met with Syria's president and said he was hopeful that strained U.S.-Syrian relations could be improved.
    (AP, 1/8/05)

2005        Jan 13, Israel's foreign minister said the planned sale of advanced Russian missiles to Syria will disrupt regional stability and Moscow should call off the deal.
    (AP, 1/13/05)

2005        Feb 3, Iran and Syria rejected President Bush's charges that they sponsored terrorism. An Iranian official called the claims groundless. The Syrian information minister said the democracy America seeks for the Middle East could not come through force.
    (AP, 2/3/05)

2005        Feb 12, Syrian authorities released 55 members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood who had spent up to 20 years in jail.
    (AP, 2/12/05)

2005        Feb 16, Syria and Iran announced a united front amid perceived US threats.
    (WSJ, 2/17/05, p.A1)

2005        Feb 21, The Arab League chief said that Syria will "soon" take steps to withdraw its army from Lebanese areas in accordance with a 1989 agreement. Tens of thousands of opposition supporters shouted insults at Syria and demanded the resignation of their pro-Syrian government in a Beirut demonstration.
    (AP, 2/21/05)

2005        Feb 23, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said that he expects further Syrian troop redeployments in Lebanon, and he dispatched his intelligence chief to Damascus to meet with President Bashar Assad to discuss increasing American and European pressure on Syria.
    (AP, 2/23/05)

2005        Feb 24, Lebanon's defense minister said Syria will withdraw troops from mountain and coastal areas in Lebanon in line with a 1989 agreement.
    (AP, 2/24/05)

2005        Feb 27, Iraqi security forces reported the capture of Saddam Hussein's half-brother and former adviser. Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan, the 6 of diamonds, was No. 36 on the list of 55 most-wanted Iraqis. Syria captured al-Hassan and 29 other fugitives and handed them over to Iraqi security. 2 American soldiers were killed in an ambush in the capital.
    (AP, 2/27/05)(SFC, 2/28/05, p.A1)

2005        Mar 2, In a new book entitled "Mari, the Metropolis of the Euphrates," Jean-Claude Margueron said the third millennium BC city, in modern day Syria, was "one of the first modern cities of humanity.
    (AP, 3/2/05)
2005        Mar 2, President Bush demanded in blunt terms that Syria get out of Lebanon.
    (AP, 3/2/05)

2005        Mar 3, An Arab League meeting opened in Cairo. An Arab diplomat said Syria has told Arab countries it needs to keep 3,000 troops and early-warning stations inside Lebanon to maintain its security despite international pressure for a full withdrawal. Saudi Arabia told Syria to withdraw its troops.
    (AP, 3/3/05)(SFC, 3/4/05, p.A3)

2005        Mar 5, Syria’s Pres. Assad outlined a two-step pullback: 1st to Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, nearer to the Syrian border; 2nd, a redeployment from there all the way to the Syrian frontier. He failed to address broad international demands that he completely withdraw Syria's 15,000 troops after nearly 30 years in Lebanon.
    (AP, 3/5/05)

2005        Mar 7, The presidents of Syria and Lebanon announced that Syrian forces will pull back to Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley by March 31, but a complete troop withdrawal will be deferred until after later negotiations.
    (AP, 3/7/05)

2005        Mar 9, Syrian soldiers flashed victory signs and waved automatic rifles as they drove east through Lebanon's mountains in the first phase of a pullback. Government lawmakers advised the president to bring back his pro-Damascus prime minister who was forced by opposition protests to resign.
    (AP, 3/9/05)

2005        Mar 11, The last Syrian troops left northern Lebanon but left behind intelligence officers in nine offices. The UN Mideast envoy said Syria needs to produce a timetable for a full withdrawal from the rest of Lebanon. Since 1976 some 15,000 Syrian troops were killed in the Lebanese civil war. Lebanese protests following the Feb 14 assassination of Rafik Hariri, later dubbed the “cedar revolution," forced Pres. Assad to withdraw his army after a 30-year stay.
    (AP, 3/11/05)(Econ, 4/2/05, p.41)(Econ, 7/25/09, SR p.11)

2005        Mar 29, Syria promised the UN that it will withdraw all troops from Lebanon before parliamentary elections but didn't mention a pullout of its intelligence operatives as demanded by the Security Council.
    (AP, 3/29/05)

2005        Apr 23, It was noted that Rami Makhlouf, a younger first cousin of Pres. Bashar Assad, is arguably the most powerful economic figure in Syria.
    (Econ, 4/23/05, p.45)(www.neal-us.org/who's_who.htm)

2005        Apr 24, Syrian troops burned documents and dismantled military posts in their final hours in Lebanon, before deploying toward the border and effectively ending 29 years of military presence in the country.
    (AP, 4/24/05)

2005        Apr 26, Syria ended its 29-year military domination of Lebanon as soldiers flashing victory signs completed a withdrawal.
    (AP, 4/26/05)

2005        May 8, In Syria a prominent Kurdish Islamic scholar was murdered in Damascus.
    (WSJ, 6/6/05, p.A1)

2005        May 20, Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha said Syria has cut off military and intelligence cooperation with the US over the last 10 days amid strains in relations between the two countries over the insurgency in Iraq.
    (AP, 5/24/05)

2005        May 26, Syria's UN ambassador said Syria has arrested more than 1,200 people trying to cross the border into Iraq in recent weeks and sent many back to their home countries because of suspicions they were trying to join the insurgency.
    (AP, 5/26/05)

2005        May 27, According to Israeli sources Syria test fired 3 Scud missiles, one of which broke up over two Turkish villages causing no injuries, in an act of defiance to the US and the UN. Syria denied the charges.
    (AFP, 6/3/05)(AP, 6/4/05)

2005        May, US forces fired across the Iraqi frontier and killed a Syrian soldier during an American military operation. The event was reported by a Syrian general 5 months later.
    (AP, 10/28/05)

2005        Jun 9, Syria's ruling Baath Party endorsed reforms that include allowing some independent political parties, relaxing a state of emergency and granting more press freedom.
    (AP, 6/9/05)
2005        Jun 9, Syrian forces raided a suspected terrorist hideout near the capital, killing 2 men, arresting a third and foiling alleged bombing plots that targeted the nation's Justice Palace.
    (AP, 6/11/05)

2005        Jun 21, In Lebanon a bomb killed a politician who was a harsh critic of Syria's power, the second slaying of an anti-Syrian figure this month.
    (AP, 6/21/05)

2005        Aug 1, Trucks loaded with produce and other merchandise began crossing into Syria from Lebanon on their way to Gulf countries after Syria eased restrictions that left them stranded for nearly four weeks in the border area.
    (AP, 8/1/05)

2005        Sep 2, Syrian troops clashed with members of the Jund al-Sham Islamic militant organization in the northern city of Hama. Five militants were killed.
    (AP, 9/3/05)

2005        Sep 8, In northeastern Syria security forces clashed with Islamic militants, killing one and arresting three others in the country's latest move against a group accused of planning bomb attacks.
    (AP, 9/8/05)

2005        Sep 10, Syrian President Bashar Assad met with leaders of 10 militant Palestinian groups based in Syria, defying U.S. pressure to crack down on these groups. Syria's official news agency SANA reported Assad urged the radical Palestinian leaders, including Khaled Mashaal, the political leader of the militant Hamas group, to close ranks and continue the struggle in order to achieve their goal of an independent Palestinian state.
    (AP, 9/10/05)

2005        Sep 12, Syria consented to a UN investigator's request to question top officials about the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a probe that increases the pressure on an increasingly isolated Damascus.
    (AP, 9/12/05)

2005        Oct 4, A new Syrian TV series began broadcasting around the Middle East. It tells the story of Arabs living in residential compounds in Saudi Arabia and the militant Islamists who want to blow them up so they can collect their rewards in heaven, 72 beautiful virgins.
    (AP, 10/10/05)

2005        Oct 12, Ghazi Kanaan, Syria's interior minister, died. He was one of several top officials caught up in the UN investigation into the slaying of Lebanon's former prime minister. The country's official news agency said he committed suicide in his office.
    (AP, 10/12/05)(Econ, 10/15/05, p.50)

2005        Oct 16, In Syria a pro-democracy group issued the Damascus Declaration for Democratic National Change. The group came to be called the Damascus Declaration.
    (AP, 10/29/08)(http://tinyurl.com/5jc9vh)

2005        Oct 20, A UN report implicated the brother-in-law of Syria's president in the Feb 14 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri, and Lebanese intelligence officials helped organize it. The UN inquiry officially linked Damascus to the slaying for the first time. Syria rejected the report. The names of top Syrians were edited out in the final version of the report.
    (AP, 10/21/05)

2005        Oct 28, A top military officer said Syria has increased military posts and patrols along its border with Iraq and stopped thousands of infiltrators from entering into the war-torn country.
    (AP, 10/28/05)
2005        Oct 28, Egyptian Pres. Hosni Mubarak held unexpected talks with his beleaguered Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad to discuss Damascus' crisis with the West over the killing of a former Lebanese leader.
    (AP, 10/28/05)
2005        Oct 28, The US joined with the UN, Russia and the EU in demanding Syria immediately close the offices of Islamic Jihad in Damascus and prevent use of its territory for terror actions.
    (AP, 10/28/05)

2005        Oct 29, Syrian President Bashar Assad issued an order for a special committee to investigate any Syrian involvement in the assassination of former PM Hariri in neighboring Lebanon.
    (AP, 10/29/05)

2005        Oct 31, A UN resolution sponsored by the US, France and Britain demanded that Syria assist fully with a probe into the February killing of former Lebanese leader Hariri. The P-5 ambassadors (the five permanent council nations) from the US, Russia, China, Britain and France, conducted intense negotiations to try to reach agreement on the resolution.
    (WSJ, 11/1/05, p.A1)(AP, 11/3/05)

2005        Nov 2, Syrian President Bashar Assad gave amnesty to 190 political prisoners to mark the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr.
    (AP, 11/2/05)

2005        Nov 17, It was reported that Syria had detained 4 Australian-Iraqi women at the Damascus airport for allegedly trying to take gun parts hidden in a child's toy onto a plane bound for Australia.
    (AFP, 11/17/05)

2005        Dec 3, Troops exhumed the remains of 25 bodies from a mass grave near a former Syrian military base in eastern Lebanon. About 17,000 Lebanese who disappeared during 1975-90 civil war are still missing, including 61 Lebanese soldiers.
    (AP, 12/03/05)

2005        Dec 4, Syrian security forces clashed with militants planning to launch terror attacks in the northern city of Aleppo. Five people were wounded, including two militants.
    (AP, 12/04/05)

2005        Dec 8, In northern Syria 8 Muslim militants died in a battle with security forces at a farmhouse.
    (AP, 12/08/05)

2005        Dec 17, The chief UN investigator into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri said in published remarks that he believed Syrian authorities were behind the killing.
    (AP, 12/17/05)

2005        Dec 19, Lebanon closed a military route that crossed its border into Syria, ending nearly 3 decades of unmonitored flow of high-ranking officials and goods between the two countries.
    (AP, 12/19/05)

2005        Dec 27, Official Syrian news reported that Syria has signed a $2.7 billion memorandum of understanding with a Russian company for construction of a refinery and petrochemical plant in northeast Syria.
    (AP, 12/27/05)
2005        Dec 27, Abdel-Qadar Abdel Qader, a Syrian, was arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of involvement in the assassination of Gibran Tueni, the anti-Syrian general manager and columnist of Lebanon's leading newspaper.
    (AP, 12/27/05)

2005        Dec 29, Syria’s former Vice President Abdul-Halim Khaddam said in a television interview from Paris that Syrian President Bashar Assad threatened former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri months before Hariri was assassinated in a truck bombing.
    (AP, 1/1/06)

2005        Dec 31, Syria's ruling Baath Party stripped former Vice President Abdul-Halim Khaddam of membership and joined parliament in demanding his trial on a charge of high treason. The French Foreign Ministry confirmed Khaddam has been in France for several months but declined to give any details on his whereabouts.
    (AP, 1/1/06)

2005        Flynt Leverett authored “Inheriting Syria: Bashar’s Trial by Fire."
    (Econ, 4/23/05, p.79)

2005        Syria’s population at this time was about 18 million with 90.3% Arabs.
    (Econ, 10/1/05, p.41)

2006        Jan 18, Syrian authorities released five pro-democracy activists, including two prominent former legislators, after they had served nearly four years of their five-year prison sentences.
    (AP, 1/19/06)
2006        Jan 18, Pres. Bush ordered assets of Asef Shawkat, head of Syria’s military intelligence, to be frozen and barred trade with him because of violent meddling in Lebanon.
    (WSJ, 1/19/06, p.A1)(www.iht.com/getina/files/303997.html)

2006        Jan 19, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began a visit to Syria to consolidate an old alliance made increasingly crucial as both countries face mounting US pressure and the threat of international sanctions.
    (AP, 1/19/06)
2006        Jan 19, Syria asserted that Iran had a right to atomic technology and said Western objections to Tehran's nuclear ambitions were not persuasive.
    (AP, 1/19/06)

2006        Feb 4, Rage against caricatures of Islam's revered prophet poured out across the Muslim world. Aggrieved believers in Syria called for executions, stormed, European buildings and torched the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus. In Gaza Palestinians marched through the streets, storming European buildings and burning German and Danish flags.
    (AP, 2/4/06)(AP, 2/4/07)

2006        Feb 10, In Turkey a Syrian was charged with masterminding suicide bombings that killed 58 people in Istanbul, and Turkish prosecutors claimed that Osama bin Laden personally ordered him to carry out terror attacks in this pro-Western country. Loa'i Mohammad Haj Bakr al-Saqa (32) was accused of serving as a point man between al-Qaida and homegrown militants behind the series of suicide bombings in Istanbul in 2003, said the indictment. It said al-Saqa gave the Turkish militants about $170,000. He was captured in Turkey in August after an alleged failed plot to attack Israeli cruise ships in the Mediterranean.
    (AP, 2/10/06)

2006        Feb 14, The UN asked Lebanon to explain reports of arms shipments crossing the Syrian border destined for the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah.
    (AP, 2/14/06)

2006        Feb 24, French legal authorities refused to extradite to Lebanon Zouheir Mohammad Assediq, an ex-Syrian intelligence officer, to answer questions about the murder of former Lebanese PM Rafiq el-Hariri.
    (AFP, 2/26/06)

2006        Mar 17, Exiled Syrian opposition figures in Belgium formed a united front, calling for a transitional government to prepare for the overthrow of President Bashar Assad's regime.
    (AP, 3/17/06)

2006        Apr 3, Mohammed al-Maghout (72), a Syrian poet and playwright known for his satirical depictions of authoritarian Arab regimes, died of a stroke at his home in Damascus.
    (AP, 4/3/06)

2006        May 14, Syria detained Michel Kilo (66), a prominent writer and democracy campaigner, who has long been one of the government's most outspoken critics.
    (AP, 5/15/06)

2006        Jun 2, Clashes between Syrian security forces and Islamic militants in an area of Damascus filled with government buildings left five dead and four wounded.
    (AP, 6/2/06)

2006        Jun 5, Key Syrian opposition figures urged Syrians to work to oust President Bashar Assad by using acts of civil disobedience reminiscent to the upheaval that freed nations behind the Iron Curtain.
    (AP, 6/5/06)

2006        Jun 7, In Syria Mohammad Ghanem, a journalist who edits a Web site and advocates greater rights for Kurds in Syria, was sentenced to a year in prison, but the military court commuted his sentence to six months. Ghanem was convicted on charges of "insulting the Syrian president, discrediting the Syrian government and fomenting sectarian unrest."
    (AP, 6/7/06)

2006        Jun 26, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in a published interview that Lebanon is becoming a shelter for al-Qaida-linked militants fleeing across the Syrian border after a crackdown by authorities there.
    (AP, 6/26/06)

2006        Jul 23, Syria, one of Hezbollah's main backers, said it will press for a cease-fire to end the fighting between Israel and the Islamic militant group but only in the framework of a broader Middle East peace initiative.
    (AP, 7/23/06)

2006        Aug 23, Syria opposed deployment of an international force along its border to prevent arms shipments to Hezbollah, and Israel called the situation in Lebanon "explosive." In southern Lebanon 3 Lebanese soldiers were killed while they dismantled an unexploded missile. An Israeli soldier was killed and three others wounded in southern Lebanon when their tank drove over a land mine.
    (AP, 8/23/06)(AP, 8/24/06)

2006        Aug 30, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said in Damascus that he and Syrian President Bashar Assad shared a "decisive and firm" stance against American "imperialism" and "domination."
    (AP, 8/30/06)

2006        Sep 1, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that Syria had pledged to step up border patrols and work with the Lebanese army to stop the flow of weapons to Hezbollah.
    (AP, 9/1/06)

2006        Sep 7, Cyprus impounded a Panama-flagged vessel on arms smuggling suspicion. It carried 18 North Korean mobile radar units and 3 command vehicles due for delivery to Syria.
    (WSJ, 9/8/06, p.A1)(Reuters, 9/11/06)

2006        Sep 9, Italy's PM Romano Prodi said Syria has agreed "in principle" to a European Union presence on its border to help stem the flow of weapons into Lebanon.
    (AP, 9/9/06)

2006        Sep 12, In Syria armed Islamic militants attempted to storm the US Embassy in Damascus. Four people were killed, including three of the assailants. One of Syria's anti-terrorism forces was killed and 11 other people were wounded. The only Islamic militant arrested in the attack died from his wounds, and authorities were unable to question him.
    (AP, 9/12/06)(AP, 9/13/06)

2006        Sep 23, The TV series “The Renegades," directed by Najdat Anzour of Syria, began showing in Lebanon and the rest of the Arab world. It fictionalized the devastating effects of terrorism on Muslim families.
    (SFC, 10/4/06, p.A7)

2006        Oct 19, Syrian authorities ordered prominent writer and pro-democracy activist Michel Kilo released on bail after more than four months in detention.
    (AP, 10/19/06)

2006        Nov 6, Syria's foreign minister said his country was ready to resume peace talks with Israel and he urged the Jewish state's government to heed calls from within the country for renewed negotiations.
    (AP, 11/7/06)

2006        Nov 20, Iran invited Iraq and Syria to talks in Tehran aimed at curbing violence in Iraq.
    (SFC, 11/21/06, p.A1)

2006        Nov 21, Iraq restored diplomatic relations with Syria as part of a wider regional effort to clamp off violence in Iraq. Iraqi and US forces raided Baghdad's Sadr City and detained seven militia members, including one believed to have information about an American soldier kidnapped last month. A young boy and two other people were killed in the early morning raid.
    (AP, 11/21/06)

2006        Nov 25, Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a cease-fire to end a five-month Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and the firing of rockets by Palestinian militants into the Jewish state. Hamas' leader, Damascus-based supreme leader Khaled Mashaal, said his group was willing to give peace negotiations with Israel six months to reach an agreement for a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, but threatened a new uprising if the talks fail.
    (AP, 11/25/06) (AP, 11/25/07)

2006        Nov 28, A Syrian leader of an Islamic militant group blew himself up at a border post with Lebanon after a gunbattle with Syrian security forces.
    (AP, 11/28/06)

2006        Dec 7, Ali Reza Asgari, a retired general who served in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, arrived in Turkey on a private visit from Damascus, Syria. He had become involved in the olive business after retirement. Iranian officials later said that he disappeared on Dec 9. In March, 2009, a former German Defense Ministry official said Asgari had defected and was providing information to the West on Iran's nuclear program. Asgari allegedly told the West that Iran was financing North Korean steps to transform Syria into a nuclear weapons power, leading to an Israeli airstrike that targeted a site in Syria on Sept. 6, 2007. In November Iranian news Web sites reported that Asgari had been abducted by Israeli agents and is now being held in Israel.
    (AP, 11/16/09)

2006        Dec 13, Syria said it has admitted more than 800,000 Iraqis who have fled the violence in their country.
    (AP, 12/13/06)

2006        Dec 18, Syria’s official SUNA news agency said Syria and Iraq had signed on to a plan to cooperate in combating terrorism and crime.
    (AP, 12/18/06)

2006        Dec 19, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he was ready for dialogue with the United States but warned Washington against giving Damascus orders.
    (AP, 12/19/06)

2007        Feb 5, Syria’s President Bashar Assad said cooperation, and negotiations, between Syria and the US could be the "last chance" to avoid full-scale civil war in Iraq.
    (AP, 2/5/07)

2007        Feb 11, A Syrian court sentenced Mohammed Haydar Zammar, a man believed to have known the Sept. 11 hijackers, to 12 years in prison for membership in the banned Muslim Brotherhood organization.
    (AP, 2/11/07)

2007        Feb 17, Syrian President Bashar Assad arrived in Iran to discuss Iraq and other Middle East issues with President Mahmoud Ahmadinajed.
    (AP, 2/17/07)

2007        Feb 22, The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Syria has embarked on an "unprecedented" effort to bolster its armed forces with Iranian and Russian help.
    (AP, 2/22/07)

2007        Feb 28, Syria said it would participate in a Baghdad-organized conference of Iraq's neighbors that the US plans to attend. Iran said it was considering whether to take part.
    (AP, 2/28/07)

2007        Mar 8, Syria’s Pres. Bashar Assad inaugurated the first stage of a joint Syrian-Iranian auto factory, test-driving one of the new cars and declaring that the project will boost cooperation between the allies.
    (AP, 3/9/07)

2007        Apr 1, In Syria US House members meeting with President Bashar Assad said they believed there was an opportunity for dialogue.
    (AP, 4/1/07)

2007        Apr 4, In Damascus US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held talks with Syria's leader despite White House objections, saying she pressed President Bashar Assad over his country's support for militant groups and passed him a peace message from Israel.
    (AP, 4/4/07)
2007        Apr 4, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad freed the 15 detained British sailors and marines as an Easter holiday "gift" to the British people. Syria said it played a key role in resolving the standoff over the 15 British sailors and marines held by Iran. Turkey brokered the release of the British sailors.
    (AP, 4/4/07)(Econ, 8/21/10, p.42)

2007        Apr 12, A Syrian-American businessman with ties to the Damascus government made an unprecedented appearance before an Israeli parliamentary panel, telling lawmakers that Syrian President Bashar Assad is ready to make peace with the Jewish state.
    (AP, 4/13/07)

2007        Apr 14, Syria distanced itself from comments by a Syrian-American businessman who recently told Israeli lawmakers that President Bashar Assad was ready to make peace with the Jewish state.
    (AP, 4/14/07)

2007        Apr 18, The UN Security Council expressed "serious concern" at mounting reports of weapons being smuggled from Syria to Lebanon and authorized an independent mission to evaluate monitoring of the border between the two countries.
    (AP, 4/18/07)

2007        Apr 23, Syrians voted for a second day in a tightly controlled election to pick a new legislature, a vote President Bashar Assad hopes can consolidate his rule, soften his regime's authoritarian image and ease its international isolation.
    (AP, 4/23/07)

2007        Apr 24, A Syrian court convicted prominent human rights activist Anwar al-Bunni of disseminating hostile information and sentenced him to five years in jail.
    (AP, 4/24/07)

2007        Apr 26, Syria’s government said that the ruling coalition took an overwhelming majority of seats in parliamentary elections that were boycotted by the opposition as a farce.
    (AP, 4/26/07)

2007        May 3, In Egypt a conference of nearly 50 nations opened at Sharm el-Sheik to rally international support, particularly from Arab nations, for an ambitious plan to stabilize Iraq. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Syria's foreign minister in the first high-level talks between the two countries in years. Hours after the chief military spokesman in Iraq said Syria had moved to reduce "the flow of foreign fighters" across its border.
    (AP, 5/3/07)

2007        May 8, A newspaper owned by Saudi Arabia's royal family said one of seven recently exposed Saudi terrorist cells used Syria as a base for coordinating with al-Qaida in Iraq and held training camps in the desert of neighboring Yemen.
    (AP, 5/8/07)

2007        May 9, In northern Syria 7 people were killed and 7 were wounded when a 5-story building collapsed.
    (AP, 5/10/07)

2007        May 10, Kamal Labwani, a Syrian dissident who was arrested after meeting with White House officials two years ago, was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison for contacting a foreign country and inciting attack against his country. His sentencing follows another in recent days against Anwar al-Bunni, a human rights lawyer, who received a five-year prison sentence, signaling a continuing of a crackdown by authorities against dissent.
    (AP, 5/10/07)

2007        May 13, A Syrian court sentenced four pro-democracy campaigners, including one of Syria's most respected writers, to prison terms as part of President's Bashar Assad's latest crack down on dissent.
    (AP, 5/14/07)

2007        May 23, In northern Syria 14 people were killed and 20 injured when an Iraqi bus overturned on the Raqqa-Aleppo highway about 250 miles north of Damascus.
    (AP, 5/24/07)

2007        May 24, Hundreds of thousands of Syrians thronged Damascus to support a second seven-year term for President Bashar Assad.
    (AP, 5/24/07)

2007        May 26, In Washington, DC, some 100 supporters of Syria’s largest exile opposition group, the National Salvation Front, gathered outside the Damascus embassy to protest against the government of Pres. Assad.
    (WSJ, 1/25/07, p.A1)

2007        May 27, Syrian President Bashar Assad cast his vote at a polling station as part of a one-day public referendum to endorse him for a second term and bolster his autocratic rule. Assad won another seven years in office, getting 97% of the vote in a nationwide referendum in which he was the only candidate.
    (AP, 5/27/07)(AP, 5/29/07)

2007        Jun 17, A Syrian court found 7 pro-Democracy advocates guilty of endangering the state and sentenced them 5 to 7 years in prison.
    (SFC, 6/19/07, p.A7)

2007        Jun, The World Monuments Fund added the Jordan River Valley to its list of 100 most endangered sites. Israel, Jordan and Syria diverted over 90% of the Jordan River water annually for drinking and irrigation, reducing flow to the Dead Sea.
    (SSFC, 8/12/07, p.A15)

2007        Jul 17, Syria’s Pres. Bashar Assad was sworn in for a 2nd, seven-year term in office.
    (AP, 7/17/07)

2007        Jul 21, In northern Syria 2 buses collided head-on, killing 20 people and wounding 50.
    (AP, 7/21/07)

2007        Jul 26, In northern Syria an explosion at an ordnance depot that was blamed on summer heat killed at least 15 soldiers and wounded 50 others.
    (AP, 7/26/07)

2007        Aug 20, Iraq's embattled PM Nouri al-Maliki came to Syria on his first visit here as prime minister amid efforts to garner neighbors' support for curbing violence at home. Syria said Iraq should set a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops. A roadside bomb killed Mohammed Ali al-Hassani (52), the governor of the predominantly Shiite Muthanna province, along with his driver and guard. Two bombings struck the Shiite district of Sadr City and a busy market district elsewhere in Baghdad, killing at least 7 people and wounding more than 20. Thousands rallied against the US in Sadr City, waving Iraqi flags and shouting "No, no to America."
    (AP, 8/20/07)

2007        Aug 27, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that security officials fear Hamas' exiled leadership in Syria is working to renew suicide attacks against Israel in an effort to derail peace efforts by Israel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Israeli intelligence assessed that Islamic Hamas militants have smuggled 40 tons of weapons into the Gaza Strip since the group wrested control of the territory in June.
    (AP, 8/27/07)

2007        Sep 6, Israeli troops backed by tanks and bulldozers crossed into southern Gaza to strike at Palestinian militants and 10 militants were killed. Palestinian militants said fighters in a pickup truck and jeep crashed through a fence on the Gaza-Israel border and attacked an Israeli army post. An Israeli airstrike hit in Syria where it was believed weapons, being sent from Iran to the militant Islamic group in Lebanon, were stored. It was later reported that the airstrike was aimed at a partly constructed nuclear reactor.
    (AP, 9/6/07)(AP, 9/12/07)(SSFC, 10/14/07, p.A19)

2007        Sep 11, Syria complained to the UN about Israeli "aggression and violation of sovereignty" after what a US official said was Sep 6 airstrike deep in Syria.
    (AP, 9/11/07)(AP, 9/12/07)

2007        Sep 21, North Korea and Syria held high-level talks in Pyongyang, amid suspicions that the two countries might be cooperating on a nuclear weapons program.
    (AP, 9/21/07)

2007        Sep 22, North Korea's No. 2 leader met with a Syrian delegation in Pyongyang, amid suspicions of a secret nuclear connection between the two countries.
    (AP, 9/22/07)

2007        Oct 1, Syria began requiring visas for Iraqis entering the country, hoping to stem the flow of refugees fleeing violence in their homeland.
    (AP, 10/1/07)

2007        Oct 4, Iranian state television reported that Iran and Syria have signed an agreement for Tehran to export a billion dollars worth of gas every year to its chief regional ally.
    (AP, 10/4/07)

2007        Oct 17,     Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, on a visit to Turkey, said that Damascus would back a possible Turkish incursion into northern Iraq to crack down "against terrorist activities" there.
    (AP, 10/17/07)

2007        Oct 18, The UN said action would be taken against the interpreter responsible for an erroneous report that Syria has a nuclear facility and expressed regret at the incident.
    (AP, 10/18/07)

2007        Oct 21, In Syria a high-level North Korean official held talks with PM Naji Otari on ways to improve cooperation between the two countries.
    (AP, 10/21/07)

2007        Oct 25,     In northern Syria authorities hanged five men for murders they committed during attempted robberies.
    (AP, 10/25/07)

2007        Dec 18, A human rights group said that Syrian authorities have arrested two activists, raising to at least seven the number detained following a recent meeting of opposition groups in Damascus. The two had attended the National Council of the Damascus Declaration for Democratic Change, a Dec. 1 gathering of numerous opposition groups and activists calling for democratic reforms in Syria.
    (AP, 12/18/07)

2007        Dec 30, President Nicolas Sarkozy said France will have no more contact with Syria until Damascus shows its willingness to let Lebanon end its current crisis and appoint a new president.
    (AP, 12/30/07)

2007        Dec 31, Syria’s state-run media called on the US to begin a direct dialogue, a day after an influential US senator said Washington could "bridge the gap" between Israel and Syria.
    (AP, 12/31/07)

2007        Syria’s oil exports were expected to almost cease by this time.
    (SFEC, 1/25/98, p.A18)
2007        Syria’s population numbered about 19 million.
    (Econ, 11/17/07, p.55)

2008        Jan 5, Syria joined other Arab nations in endorsing the head of Lebanon's army as that country's next president, putting pressure on the Lebanese opposition to drop demands that have blocked a compromise over the post.
    (AP, 1/5/08)

2008        Jan 9, The US imposed sanctions on Mishan Jaburi, owner of Al Zawra television in Syria, and Brig. Gen. Ahmed Foruzandeh, leader of the Iranian Quds Force, for broadcasting attacks on American troops and calls to violence. Jaburi, a former parliamentarian in Iraq, had fled to Syria in 2006 amid charges that he had embezzled millions from Iraq’s treasury. The BBC said the station was last seen July 27.
    (SFC, 1/10/08, p.A13)

2008        Feb 12, In Syria Imad Mughniyeh (45), the suspected mastermind of dramatic attacks on the US Embassy and US Marine barracks that killed hundreds of Americans in Lebanon in the 1980s, died in a car bombing. Hezbollah and its Iranian backers blamed Israel for the killing. Israel denied involvement and said it was looking into the death. Mughniyeh, a Lebanese Shia, was recruited by Ali Hassan Salameh (d.1979), the chief of operations officer of Black September. In 2015 the Washington Post reported that the CIA and Israel's spy agency Mossad were behind the plot.
    (AP, 2/13/08)(Econ, 6/7/14, p.88)(AFP, 1/31/15)

2008        Feb 14, The chief of Hezbollah vowed to retaliate against Israeli targets anywhere in the world after accusing the Jewish state of killing the militant Imad Mughniyeh in Syria.
    (AP, 2/14/08)

2008        Mar 3, Tens of thousands of Syrians filled the central square of the capital to protest an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip that has left scores of Palestinians dead.
    (AP, 3/3/08)

2008        Mar 8, North Korea’s official news agency reported that leader Kim Jong Il hopes for stronger friendship with Syria, amid lingering suspicions of a secret nuclear connection between the two countries.
    (AP, 3/8/08)

2008        Mar 11, At least 42 people were killed across Iraq. A roadside bomb hit a bus traveling in southern Iraq, killing at least 16 civilians, while gunmen opened fire on another bus in the capital, leaving one person dead. The Pentagon said up to 90% of the foreign fighters in Iraq cross from Syria.
    (AFP, 3/11/08)(AP, 3/12/08)(WSJ, 3/12/08, p.A1)

2008        Mar 14, In northern Syria a bus carrying high school students rammed into a house and flipped over, killing at least 24 people and injuring 34.
    (AP, 3/14/08)

2008        Mar 24, Saudi Arabia said its king would send a lower level diplomat to the March 29 Arab League summit in Syria, which hoped to help solve the stalemate in Lebanon.
    (WSJ, 3/25/08, p.A1)

2008        Mar 25, It was reported that Syria is cracking down more on Internet use, imposing tighter monitoring of citizens who link to the Web, as well as jailing bloggers who criticize the government and blocking YouTube and other Web sites deemed harmful to state security.
    (AP, 3/25/08)

2008        Mar 28, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen announced at the last minute that their top leaders will not attend this weekend's Arab summit in Damascus.
    (AP, 3/28/08)

2008        Mar 29, An Arab League summit in Damascus, where Syrian President Bashar Assad questioned how long Arab nations can keep offering Israel a land-for-peace proposal. Islamic and Arab leaders denounced a Dutch film that portrays Islam as a ticking time bomb aimed at the West, demanding international laws to prevent insults to religions.
    (AP, 3/29/08)(AP, 3/30/08)

2008        Mar 30, In Syria Iraq refused to endorse the final declaration of the Arab summit because it did not condemn terrorism in the country, a divisive end to a gathering marred by disputes and boycotts.
    (AP, 3/30/08)

2008        Apr 18,     Former US Pres. Jimmy Carter arrived in Syria where he met Pres. Bashar Assad, the political leader of the militant Palestinian Hamas group and Syrian businessmen.
    (AP, 4/18/08)

2008        Apr 19, In Syria defying US and Israeli warnings, former President Jimmy Carter met again on with Khaled Mashaal, the exiled leader of the militant Hamas group, and his deputy, Moussa Abu Marzouk.
    (AP, 4/19/08)

2008        Apr 23, Syria handed over a trove of some 700 looted artifacts to Iraq after seizing the items from traffickers since the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
    (AP, 4/24/08)

2008        Apr 24, Syria dismissed US accusations that North Korea was helping it build a nuclear reactor that could produce plutonium. Israeli warplanes bombed a site in Syria on Sept. 6, 2007, that private analysts said appeared to have been the site of a reactor, based on commercial satellite imagery taken after the raid. Syria later razed the site.
    (AP, 4/24/08)

2008        Apr 26, Turkey's PM Erdogan was in Syria in a bid to restart peace negotiations between Damascus and its Mideast foe, Israel.
    (AP, 4/26/08)

2008        May 21, Israel and Syria said they were holding indirect peace talks through Turkish mediators on a dispute that centers on the Golan Heights.
    (AP, 5/21/08)

2008        Jun 2, The chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency says Syria has agreed to let inspectors into the country this month to probe allegations of illegal nuclear activity.
    (AP, 6/2/08)

2008        Jun 5, Diplomats said Syria has told a 35-nation meeting that it will limit what UN nuclear inspectors can see when they go to check on allegations that Damascus is hiding atomic facilities.
    (AP, 6/5/08)

2008        Jun 15, Israeli officials said that indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria have resumed, with Turkish mediation.
    (AP, 6/15/08)

2008        Jun 16, Officials said 2 days of peace talks in Turkey involving Israel and Syria had concluded and more talks were planned.
    (AP, 6/16/08)

2008        Jun 23, UN experts began probing allegations that Syria has a hidden nuclear program, as Damascus imposed strict secrecy on the visit, warning the UN not to drag it into a drawn-out investigation like the standoff with Iran.
    (AP, 6/24/08)

2008        Jun 25, A senior UN atomic inspector said an initial probe of US allegations that a Syrian site hit by Israeli warplanes was a secretly built nuclear reactor is inconclusive and further checks are necessary.
    (AP, 6/25/08)

2008        Jul 5, In Syria military police officers killed at least 9 inmates during a riot at the Saydnaya Prison. The prisoners took 9 officials and guards hostage.
    (SSFC, 7/6/08, p.A7)

2008        Jul 12, French President Nicolas Sarkozy met his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak, kicking off a round of diplomacy with Middle East leaders ahead of an EU-Mediterranean summit. Sarkozy said that Syria and Lebanon will open embassies in each other's countries for the first time. Syria's leader cautioned there was still work to be done before that could happen.
    (AP, 7/12/08)(AP, 7/13/08)

2008        Aug 1, A sniper assassinated Brig. Gen. Mohammed Suleiman, a senior Syrian general close to President Bashar Assad, at a beach resort in the northern port city of Tartous.
    (AP, 8/4/08)

2008        Aug 9, Syria said it would bar UN nuclear investigators from revisiting a site bombed by Israeli jets on suspicion it was a secretly built atomic reactor.
    (AP, 8/9/08)

2008        Aug 14, Syria agreed to a longtime Lebanese demand to negotiate the demarcation of their border a day after the countries said they would establish full diplomatic relations for the first time.
    (AP, 8/14/08)

2008        Sep 3, French President Nicolas Sarkozy encouraged Syria to pursue face-to-face peace talks with Israel during his first trip to the Arab nation, a visit also aimed at undercutting Iranian influence in Damascus.
    (AP, 9/4/08)

2008        Sep 4, Syrian President Bashar Assad announced that his country has handed over proposals for peace with Israel to Turkish mediators and would wait for Israel's response before holding any face-to-face negotiations.
    (AP, 9/4/08)

2008        Sep 12, Russia’s Itar-Tass news reported that Syria’s Tartous port is being renovated to provide a permanent facility for the Russian navy.
    (SFC, 10/3/08, p.A14)

2008        Sep 27, In Damascus, Syria, a car packed with explosives detonated on a crowded residential street, killing 17 people and wounding more than a dozen others.
    (AP, 9/27/08)

2008        Oct 9, Two American journalists, Holli Chmela (27) and Taylor Luck (23), who went missing during a vacation in Lebanon eight days ago were released in Syria and returned to Jordan. The next day they said they had been "kidnapped" by their taxi driver and taken into Syria, where they were held in custody for a week before being released.
    (AP, 10/9/08)(AP, 10/10/08)

2008        Oct 14, Syria established diplomatic relations with Lebanon, ending six decades of non-recognition of its neighbor's sovereignty in an apparent bid to curry favor with the West as it pursues indirect peace talks with Israel.
    (AP, 10/14/08)

2008        Oct 15, The foreign ministers of Syria and Lebanon signed an agreement formalizing diplomatic ties between the two countries for the first time in their turbulent history.
    (AP, 10/15/08)

2008        Oct 26, Four US military helicopters attacked a civilian building under construction shortly before sundown in Sukkariyeh about five miles inside the Syrian border. A government statement said eight people were killed, including a man and his four children and a woman. An Associated Press journalist at the funerals in the village's cemetery saw the bodies of seven men, none of them minors. The area targeted is near the Iraqi border city of Qaim, which had been a major crossing point for fighters, weapons and money coming into Iraq.
    (AP, 10/27/08)

2008        Oct 28, The Syrian government ordered that an American school and a US cultural center in Damascus be closed in response to a deadly raid by US helicopters near the Syrian border with Iraq.
    (AP, 10/28/08)

2008        Oct 29, A Syrian criminal court convicted 12 dissidents of fomenting sectarian strife and sentenced them to two and a half years in prison. The defendants, members of a pro-democracy group known as the Damascus Declaration, were arrested last December. The Damascus Declaration, formed in 2005, is the broadest coalition of opposition figures in Syria.
    (AP, 10/29/08)

2008        Oct 30, Scientists reported that 1 in 17 men living on the coasts of North Africa and southern Europe may have a Phoenician direct male line ancestor. Evidence was based on Y-chromosomes collected in Cyprus, Malta, Morocco, the West Bank, Syria and Tunisia.
    (SFC, 10/31/08, p.A14)

2008        Dec 14, In Syria former US President Jimmy Carter met with Khaled Mashaal, the exiled leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, for the second time this year.
    (AP, 12/14/08)

2008        Syrian authorities blocked 225 internet sites this year, up from 159 in 2007.
    (Econ, 7/25/09, SR p.13)

2009        Jan 11, An estimated 2,500 Lebanese and Palestinians protested peacefully in downtown Beirut against Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, as hundreds of demonstrators in neighboring Syria shouted insults at the both the Jewish state and Arab leaders.
    (AP, 1/11/09)

2009        Feb 19, The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said samples taken from a Syrian site suspected of being a secretly built reactor have revealed new traces of processed uranium.
    (AP, 2/19/09)

2009        Feb 24, Syria's nuclear chief told the UN's nuclear agency that his nation has built a new missile facility on the site of what the US says was a nearly finished nuclear reactor bombed by Israel in Sep 2007.
    (AP, 2/25/09)

2009        Mar 10, Syria opened its first stock exchange, closed since the 1960s, as it shifted from socialist policies toward a more market oriented system.
    (SFC, 3/11/09, p.A2)(Econ, 11/28/09, p.50)

2009        Mar 11, Saudi Arabia hosted the leaders of Egypt and Syria in an effort to persuade Damascus to move away from Iran and join with US-allied Arab countries in working to blunt Tehran's influence.
    (AP, 3/11/09)

2009        Mar 16, Lebanon opened its first-ever embassy in Syria in another sign of improving ties between the long-feuding neighbors.
    (AP, 3/16/09)

2009        Mar 31, The US Government Accountability Office released a report saying 4 countries designated a terrorism sponsors received $55 million from a US supported program promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy under the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation program. Between 1997 and 2007 Iran received over $15 million, $14 million went to Syria, while Sudan and Cuba received over $11 million each.
    (WSJ, 3/31/09, p.A3)

2009        Apr 17, Mohammed Zuhair Siddiq, purported Syrian intelligence officer and one of the suspects in the 2005 assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, was arrested in Dubai. He was arrested in France in October 2005 as a suspect in the murder, but disappeared from house arrest in France in March, 2008.
    (AP, 4/20/09)

2009        Apr 26, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi wrapped up a regional Middle East visit in Damascus saying Israel should return the Golan Heights to Syria.
    (AFP, 4/26/09)

2009        May 1, In northern Iraq Ammar Afif Hamada (19), a would-be Syrian suicide bomber linked to al-Qaida in Iraq, was tackled by guards on the doorstep of a mosque in Kirkuk.
    (AP, 5/2/09)

2009        May 5, The leaders of Iran and Syria reaffirmed their support for Palestinian resistance, a defiant message to the US and its Mideast allies who are uneasy over Washington's efforts to forge closer ties with the hard-line government in Tehran.
    (AP, 5/5/09)

2009        May 10, Syria rejected the Obama administration's decision to renew economic and diplomatic sanctions against Damascus and urged Washington to abandon "foolish polices."
    (AP, 5/10/09)

2009        May 17, Israel's President Shimon Peres urged Syria to open direct peace talks and said indirect negotiations mediated by Turkey had not resumed.
    (AP, 5/17/09)

2009        Jul 2, The BBC reported that Syria’s Pres. Assad has issued a presidential decree ordering honor killers to face at least 2 years in prison.

2009        Aug 7, Portugal said it has agreed to take two Syrian detainees from Guantanamo prison.
    (AP, 8/7/09)

2009        Aug 19, Syrian President Bashar Assad opened talks with Iranian officials in a visit expected to include an appeal to free a French academic accused of plotting to overthrow the Islamic regime.
    (AP, 8/19/09)

2009        Aug 25, Iraq recalled its ambassador from Syria and demanded that Damascus hand over two suspected Saddam Hussein loyalists it has linked to the Aug 19 suicide attacks.
    (AP, 8/25/09)

2009        Aug 29, Portugal’s government said 2 Syrians previously held at Guantanamo Bay have arrived in Portugal as free men.
    (AP, 8/29/09)

2009        Sep 3, A water rights battle over the historic Tigris and Euphrates rivers simmered, as Iraq and Syria appealed for increased water flows to cope with severe drought but Turkey said it was already too overstretched.
    (AP, 9/3/09)

2009        Sep 15, In Turkey security talks failed over Syria's refusal to extradite some suspects accused of deadly bombings in Baghdad. Senior Iraqi and Syrian diplomats attended the talks.
    (AP, 9/16/09)

2009        Sep 16, Syrian President Bashar Assad met with Turkey's PM Erdogan in Istanbul to discuss ways to revive the stalled peace process between Syria and Israel, a day after security talks with Iraq collapsed.
    (AP, 9/16/09)

2009        Sep 27, It was reported that some 300,000 Syrian farmers, herders and their families have been forced by drought to abandon their homes for makeshift urban camps.
    (SSFC, 9/27/09, p.A18)

2009        Oct 6, Syria held its first ever fashion design competition, meant to encourage young Syrian talents and local products.
    (AP, 10/7/09)

2009        Oct 7, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah made his first visit to Syria since becoming monarch, the strongest indication yet of thawing relations between the two rival nations following years of tension. The 2-day talks between Abdullah and Assad focused on the need for Arab solidarity in view of the numerous challenges facing the Arab world.
    (AP, 10/7/09)(AP, 10/9/09)

2009        Oct 12, Syria's Pres. Bashar Assad issued a decree banning smoking in public places, joining an anti-smoking trend already under way in other Arab countries. The decree will go into effect in six months and ban smoking in restaurants, cafes, cinemas, theaters, schools, official functions and on public transport. Offenders will be fined 2,000 Syrian pounds, about $45.
    (AP, 10/12/09)

2009        Oct 15, The Syrian-based leadership of the militant Palestinian Hamas said it has rejected an Egyptian-mediated proposal to reconcile with the rival Fatah group. Hamas and seven other Damascus-based Palestinian factions issued a joint statement saying the reconciliation plan must be revised to include a reference to the Palestinian right to resist Israeli occupation.
    (AP, 10/15/09)

2009        Oct, Turkish ministers traveled to Baghdad and Damascus to sign a package of 48 co-operation deals with Iraq and 40 with Syria, covering everything from tourism to counter-terrorism and joint military exercises.
    (Econ, 10/31/09, p.57)

2009        Dec 17, Former Syrian President Amin Hafez (b.1920) died. He was brought to power by a military coup only to be overthrown three years later. Hafez became president in a 1963 coup, but Baath Party radicals drove him from power three years later.
    (AP, 12/17/09)

2009        Dec 19, Lebanon's PM Saad Hariri, who has blamed neighboring Syria for the assassination of his father, visited Damascus for the first time since the 2005 killing, a trip that a close associate said was extremely difficult for him to make.
    (AP, 12/19/09)

2009        Dec 27, Syrian security agents detained Tal al-Mallohi (19), a high school student blogger, after summoning her for questioning. Authorities have not allowed al-Mallohi's family to communicate with her since she was picked up. On Sep 20, 2010, The New York-based Human Rights Watch called for her immediate release. On Feb 14, 2011, she was sentenced to 5 years in prison on charges of spying for a foreign country.
    (AP, 9/20/10)(SFC, 2/15/11, p.A2)

2009        Syria’s population numbered about 22 million people, including about 1.5 million Kurds.
    (Econ, 11/28/09, p.50)
2009        Russia began to modernize the Syrian port of Tartus, its only military base outside the former Soviet Union.
    (Econ, 1/14/12, p.47)

2010        Feb 25, Syria and Iran defended their strong ties and dismissed US efforts to break up the 30-year-alliance, saying America should not dictate relationships in the Middle East.
    (AP, 2/25/10)

2010        Mar 4, A Syrian archaeologist said more than 250 silver coins dating back to the time of Alexander the Great have been unearthed. The coins were discovered two weeks ago in a bronze box in northern Syria when a local man was digging the foundations of his new home.
    (AP, 3/4/10)

2010        Mar 21, Syrian police opened fire at a group of Kurds celebrating the new year, killing at least one person despite signs that tensions were easing between the government and its restive Kurdish minority.
    (AP, 3/29/10)

2010        Mar 26, Tens of thousands of Syrians and Palestinians gathered in a Damascus square in a government-orchestrated "march of anger" against Israeli settlements in east Jerusalem.
    (AP, 3/26/10)

2010        Apr 21, In Syria a smoking ban that few are expected to abide by went into effect. The law, which also forbids the sale of cigarettes to minors, was approved six months ago by President Bashar Assad, a British-trained eye doctor. A 1996 decree issued by Assad's late father, President Hafez Assad, had banned smoking in government offices, hospitals and the airport. A 2004 law banned smoking in internet cafes and another law in 2006 made buses, railway stations, movie theaters, parks and cultural centers smoke-free, with violators facing a fine of about $10 and three months in jail. But the bans were often flouted and not strictly enforced.
    (AP, 4/21/10)

2010        Apr 29, Iraq's election commission said recounting all the ballots from the key Baghdad province will take around 2 to 3 weeks, further delaying the formation of a long awaited new government. 8 people were killed and 20 injured in car bomb outside a Baghdad liquor store. Iraq's banned Baath party, booted out of power in the 2003 US-led invasion, held its first public meeting in the Syrian capital.
    (AP, 4/29/10)(AFP, 4/30/10)

2010        May 3, The US renewed sanctions against Damascus, saying Syria has made some progress containing terror networks that use the country to infiltrate Iraq but that Damascus continues to support terrorists and pursue weapons of mass destruction.
    (AP, 5/5/10)

2010        May 11, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused nuclear power North Korea of supplying Syria with weapons of mass destruction.
    (AP, 5/11/10)
2010        May 11, Russia's Pres. Medvedev said that Israeli-Arab tensions threaten to draw the Middle East into a new catastrophe, as he added Moscow's weight to a diplomatic push to ease antagonism between Israel and Syria. While in Syria, Medvedev unnerved Israel by paying a visit to Khaled Meshaal, the exiled leader of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
    (AP, 5/11/10)(AP, 5/14/10)

2010        May 14, Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency quoted a senior Russian arms trader as saying Russia has signed deals with Syria under which it will sell it warplanes, anti-tank weapons and air defense systems. Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation chief Mikhail Dmitriyev said Russia will sell MiG-29 fighter jets, Pantsyr short-range air defense systems and armored vehicles. He didn't give any numbers or provide any further details.
    (Reuters, 5/14/10)(AP, 5/15/10)

2010        Jun 22, In Syria a severe 4-year drought was reported to be devastating rural communities, forcing them to abandon the country's traditional breadbasket in the northeast for cities in search of employment.
    (AFP, 6/22/10)

2010        Jun 23, In Syria a court in Damascus convicted Muhannad al-Hassani (44), a leading Syrian lawyer and rights activist, of spreading false information and sentenced him to three years in prison. He was also charged with "weakening national sentiments," a term often used in Syria against those who challenge the regime.
    (AP, 6/23/10)

2010        Jun 26, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and called on Latin America and the Arab world to fight what he called America's imperialist and capitalist interests abroad.
    (AP, 6/26/10)

2010        Jun 28, In Cuba President Bashar Assad of Syria sat down with Raul Castro as part of his first tour of Latin America, a trip that is taking him to meetings with many of the region's left-leaning governments.
    (AP, 6/28/10)

2010        Jul 3, In Syria Mohammed Oudeh (b.1937), the key planner of the 1972 Munich Olympics attack that killed 11 Israeli athletes, died.
    (AP, 7/3/10)(SSFC, 7/4/10, p.C9)

2010        Jul 18, Syria announced a ban on the niqab, the face-covering Islamic veil, from the country's universities.
    (AP, 7/19/10)

2010        Jul 30, The leaders of Syria and Saudi Arabia, once bitter rivals, made an unprecedented show of cooperation, traveling together to Lebanon in hopes of preventing any violence if members of a militant group are indicted in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri. Saudi Arabia, which was close to the slain premier, holds sway with Lebanon's ruling alliance led by his son Saad, while Syria and Iran support a rival camp led by Hezbollah.
    (AP, 7/30/10)

2010        Sep 25, In Syria leaders of the two rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas held reconciliation talks in Damascus and said they wanted the discussions to continue.
    (AFP, 9/25/10)

2010        Oct 2, Visiting Iran Syrian President Bashar al-Assad assured Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that their ties were solid, a view unlikely to please Washington which is working to isolate the Islamic state.
    (Reuters, 10/2/10)

2010        Oct 4, An official said Syria has accused a 19-year-old blogger who is in prison of being a spy in the first comment from authorities on a case that sparked calls by a leading rights group for the young woman's release. Tal al-Mallohi was taken into custody in December. Her blog, known for poetry and social commentary, focused mostly on the suffering of Palestinians.
    (AP, 10/4/10)
2010        Oct 4, It was reported that Syria has ordered the arrest of 33 people over false testimony given in the UN-backed probe into the assassination of Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri. Observers said the warrants carried no legal weight in Lebanon as the crime in question took place on Lebanese soil and the complainant as well as most of the defendants are Lebanese.
    (AFP, 10/4/10)

2010        Oct 13, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told visiting Iraqi premier Nuri al-Maliki that better ties between the two nations will be strengthened by the formation of a new Iraqi government.
    (AP, 10/13/10)

2010        Oct 21, In Syria Venezuelan Pres. Chavez met with his Pres. Bashar Assad on the Mideast leg of an international tour partly intended to counter what he calls US "imperialism."
    (AP, 10/21/10)

2010        Nov 9, Representatives of Hamas and the Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas started a meeting in Damascus for reconciliation talks.
    (AFP, 11/10/10)
2010        Nov 9, A UN report suggesting North Korea may have supplied Syria, Iran and Myanmar with banned nuclear technology headed to the Security Council. The latest report by the so-called Panel of Experts on Pyongyang's compliance with UN sanctions was delivered to the Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee in May, but did not move for nearly six months due to Chinese objections.
    (Reuters, 11/9/10)

2010        Dec 29, President Barack Obama bypassed Congress to name the first US ambassador to Syria in nearly six years. Obama took the controversial step of forcing through the appointments of Ambassador Robert Ford and five other officials while the Senate, which normally needs to confirm nominations, was out of session.
    (AF, 12/30/10)

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