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Syria Profile and Timeline
Transcript of Syria Profile and Timeline
Languages: Arabic (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian, French, English (somewhat, mostly in large cities)
Religions: Sunni Muslims (majority), Christians, Druze, other Muslim, Jewish Government Type: Republic, under authoritarian regime of Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Independence: 17th April 1946
Constitution: 13th March 1973; amended February 2012. From 1963 to April 2011, Syria was under a legal state of emergency, most constitutional protections were suspended Legal System: Civil and Islamic Law Suffrage: 18 years. (universal) Executive Branch: President, Two Vice Presidents, Prime Minister.
Cabinet: Council of Ministers
Legislative: Unicameral People's Council
Judiciary: Supreme Judicial Council, Supreme Constitutional Court, Court of Cassation, Appeals Court, Economic Security Courts, Supreme State Security Court, Personal Status Court Syrian flag Syrian National Anthem Pre-Independence SYRIA TIMELInE 1914: August. World War I breaks out in Europe Jamal Pasha (Ottoman governor) is determined to tighten control over Syria. Members of Al-Fatat are arrested Al-Fatat: The Young Arab Society. J'amiyat al'-Arabiya al-Fatat, founded in 1911 by Izzat Darwaza. Members include Prince Faysal, son of Sharif Husayn of Mecca. Nationalistic group that aims to achieve independence. 1915: Arabs hanged in city squares on May 6th. This will be known as Matyrs' Day, which will become a national holiday in Syria and Lebanon 1916: The British ask Sharif Husayn to lead the Arabs in revolt. An attack is launched, with the support of the British army under the command of T.E. Lawrence. Jamal pasha 1918: Troops led by Faysal, supported by the British, enter Syria. 400 years of Ottoman rule is ended. An Arab Government is set up in Damascus, headed by Faysal. November 11th. World War I ends. 1919: Faysal attends Versailles peace conference to demand recognition of Syria's independence. Fails. Declares Syria's freedom nevertheless. 1920s: National Congress proclaims Faysal King of Syria. France occupies Damascus, proclaims a new state of Greater Lebanon.
Nationalists revolt against French rule. 1930s: France assents to Syrian independence, but military and economic dominance are maintained. 1940s: World War II. Syria is under control of the Axis Powers. Syria occupied by French and British troops. French mandate promised to end.
Protests over slow withdrawal of French Troops. 1946: Syria gains independence. 1940 1963 1947 Of coups Founded by Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Din al-Bitar. Slogan: Unity, Freedom, Socialism ba'ath party Michel Aflaq (1910-1984) Arab Nationalist, social and political leader Born in Damascus to a Greek Orthodox family His political beliefs had a Marxist quality, and he believed that aristocracies and foreign powers alike must be opposed in the struggle of the nationalist Died in Baghdad in 1989. The Iraqi media claimed that on his deathbed, he converted to Islam Salah al-din al-bitar (1912 - 1980) A Syrian politician Together with Michel Aflaq, created a doctrine that would be a hybrid of nationalism and socialism Prime minister of several Ba'athist governments in Syria Alienated from the party as it became more radical, left Syria in 1966 Assassinated in Paris in 1980. Perpetrator unknown. Syria is under the presidency of Quwatly after achieving independence. First crisis: Independence of Israel. 1948, May. Syrian troops and other Arab armies invade Israel. 1949 - On March 30th, Brigadier General Husni az Zaim launches Syria's first coup, supported by opposition and the masses. Backed by the British, then the French. Recognized by Western and Arab governments, and is elected president. Five months later, a countercoup is launched by Brigadier General Sami al-Hinnawi. Zaim is arrested, along with the prime minister. He is executed after a trial. December 19, 1949 - Colonel Adib Shishakli arrests Hinnawi, and he assumes power. This is the third coup in a year. 1950 1950: Constituent Assembly approves a new assembly and is reconstituted as the Chamber of Deputies. Civilians are upset with the inflation, leading to hoarding, unemployment and rioting. Lebanon opposes to Syria's protective tariffs policy, and the economic agreement between both countries is broken. 1951: November 28th, Shishakli carries out yet another coup, arresting cabinet ministers and appoints a specially selected follower, Major General Fawzi Silu as Prime Minister. 1952: Shishakli abolishes all political parties, and the Arab Liberation Movement (ALM), a progressive party with pan-Arabist and socialist views, is created. 1954: Shishakli is overthrown and a civilian government is returned to power. Constitution, government and parliament that was in power prior to Shishakli is restored. 1955: Veteran nationalist Shukri al-Quwatti becomes President for the third time. Ouster of Shishakli brings out conflicts, and conservatives and socialists fight for dominance. Balance swings in favour of Ba'ath Party and Syrian Communist Party. 1957: By the end of this year, Ba'athists and their allies are in control of the government. A leader of the party becomes Speaker of Parliament, the highest post given to a socialist in Syria. 1958: Syria & Egypt form the United Arab Republic (UAR). Not what the Ba'athists had envisioned. One of Gamal Abdel Nasser's (president of Egypt) conditions for the union: Syria and Egypt will be completely integrated, not federated. Nasser heads the UAR and calls for all Syrian political parties to be dissolved. 1961: Syrians are dissatisfied with Egypt's dominance in the UAR. Nasser makes little effort assuage Syrians. September 28 - Military coup is launched, Syria secedes and is established as the Syrian Arab Republic. 1963: Army officers seize power after several coups on March, in a takeover engineered by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. New Cabinet is dominated by members of the Ba'ath party. Amin al-Hafez becomes president. The party's slogan attracted many who wished to rid the Arab nations of their European-backed governments Merged with Akram Hawrani's Arab Socialist party to form the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party in 1953. Those who played a major role in establishing the party's dominance were the army officers, including Hafez al-Assad. The party is split into two factions (Iraq-based, Syria-based) due to disagreements between the military officers led by Assad and the civilian members. Ba'ath party profile The civilian members, led by Michel Aflaq, come to power in Iraq in 1968 through a coup. Saddam Hussein was a part of the Iraqi Ba'athists. Logo of the Arab Socialist ba'ath party Here comes assad (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr Enter the ba'ath. 1966: A coup is lead against the civilian Ba'ath government.President Amin al-Hafez and both founders of the party are arrested. Hafez al-Assad becomes Defence Minister. 1965: Bashar al-Assad is born. 1967: Syria goes to war as Israel attacks Egypt. Golan Heights is taken away from Syria and much of the air force is destroyed in the Six Day War. Israeli tanks in Golan heights 1970: In a bloodless coup, Hafez al-Assad overthrows the president. Ba'ath domination begins. Hafez al-assad (1930-2000) Born into family of a minority Islamic sect. Became a student activist of the Ba'ath Party in 1946 Enrolled in a military academy in 1952 and graduated as an air force pilot. During Syria's union with Egypt in the United Arab Republic (UAR), was exiled to Egypt. Became the commander of the air force when the Ba'ath Party took power in 1963. Became prime minister, and was president from 1971 to 2000. Suppressed the 1982 rebellion of the Muslim Brotherhood in Hama. Cost almost 20,000 lives. Under his leadership, a surprise attack is launched on Israel after an alliance with Egypt in 1973. Egypt stopped attacks unexpectedly and Syria was badly defeated. Hafez al-Assad dispatched divisions to Lebanon, in the midst of a civil war in 1976. Presence is retained there, which is seem by some as an occupation. Assad regains control of Lebanon after the invasion and occupation of Israeli troops from 1982-1985. Supported Iran in its war against Iraq. Assad was rivals with the head of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party, Saddam Hussein. Backed the United States in the Persian Gulf War. Improved relations between Syria and the West. While a violent and ruthless man, he is credited with bringing stability to Syria. Dies on June 10, 2000 in Damascus. The assad Family. After elected to his fifth seven year term in 1999, syrian girls cheer for him. 1973: In March, Hafez al-Assad is elected president. A National referendum confirms him as president for a seven-year term. Syria's military is strengthened during his rule, and overall living standards are improved. In October, Syria and Egypt go to war with Israel (the Yom Kippur War). Syria fails to retake Golan heights and is defeated. 1976: Syria intervenes in Lebanon's civil war which begins the 30 year occupation 1980: A member of the Muslim Brotherhood attempts to assassinate Hafez al-Assad The Iran-Iraq war begins. Syria backs up Iran. 1981: The Golan Heights is annexed by Israel. 1982: Uprisings led by the Muslim Brotherhood in Hama are suppressed by Hafez al-Assad's government. Many are killed. Syrian army in Lebanon is attacked by Israel, and is forced to withdraw from some areas. 1983: Conflict between Israel and Lebanon ends. Syrian army remains in Lebanon. 1983: According to reports, Assad has a heart attack. This is denied by the authorities. Rifaat, Assad's brother, seems to prepare to take over. 1984: Rifaat becomes vice president. 1987: Troops enter Lebanon to enforce a ceasefire. 1990: Iraq, under the rule of Saddam Hussein, attacks Kuwait. The US-led coalition in the Gulf War is backed by Syria. Relations with Egypt and the US are improved. 1994: Bassel, Assad's eldest son, who was likely to succeed, dies in a car crash. Bashar al-Assad is called back from London, where he was studying to be an optician. 2000: After 30 years in power, Hafez al-Assad passes away. The constitution is amended. The minimum age for President is reduced from 40 to 34. This will allow Bashar al-Assad to take over. Bashar is elected president unopposed, supposedly garnering more than 97% of votes. 1998: Rifaat loses his position as vice president. Bashar al-assad at his father's funeral. Bashar Al- assad: Profile Born on the 11th of September, 1965, he is the current President of Syria, ruling since the year 2000. He is also the Regional Secretary for the Syrian faction of the Ba'ath Party. Was originally going to be a doctor; he studied medicine in the University of Damascus, trained to be an ophthalmologist at military hospital before moving to London. Enrolled in a military academy in 1994, took charge of Syria's interests in Lebanon in 1998. Sworn in as president on 17th July 2000. Married Asma al Akhras in late 2000. They have 3 children together. Projected himself as a reformer in his inaugural speech. "We have to fight waste and corruption,". Headed a campaign to remove corrupt officials, which also helped to eliminate opponents as well as potential rivals. A critic of the United States and Israel. Not greatly involved in politics until he became President. Freedom of speech during his reign was slightly restored. He encouraged "constructive criticism". Four open letters asking for political, economic and social reform were tolerated. Even so, calls for political liberation received backlash two years later: several dissidents were arrested, and public debate on reform ends. Acknowledged that he will always be compared to his father in an interview with the New York Times in 2003, but asserts that he is not a copy of his father. Did not support the United States' decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Accused of involvement in the assassination of Lebanon's President in 2005 Re-elected President in 2007 after running as the only candidate. Used military power to suppress anti-government protests in 2011. Has been ruthlessly putting down civilian uprisings in the Syrian Civil War Condemned by the United Nations in 2012 for the violation of humans rights 2000: Bashar al-Assad's succession brings hope for reforms. the rule of bashar al-assad. These reforms are called by intellectuals, and public debating 'salons' are hosted. This is known as the Damascus Spring. Damascus Spring?? The release of 600 political prisoners is ordered by Bashar al-Assad in November. 2001: In April, The Muslim Brotherhood, which was outlawed, announce that they will resume political activity. June: Most Syrian troops evacuate Beirut (capital of Lebanon) following pressure from critics. A number are still kept in certain areas of the country. The last of the salons of the Damascus Springs are shut down, and activists who called for democratic elections are arrested. Then prime minister of Britain, Tony Blair visits in November to gain support against terrorism. Damascus Spring Started from the death of Hafez al-Assad and the succession of his son. Sparked by intellectuals such as Michel Kilo and Riad Seif. Informal political 'salons' were held to encourage discussion of issues. Michel Kilo: Born in 1940 to a Christian family. Journalist and independent member of the opposition. Also the founder of Committees for the Revival of Civil Society. First arrested for protesting the trial of the Muslim Brotherhood during the rule of Hafez al-Assad. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison for signing the Damascus Declaration in 2005. Formed the Syrian Democratic Platform with other dissidents in February 2012. Riad Seif: Born in 1946, he is the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Also independent member of the opposition. Formed the Riad Seif Forum (Forum for National Dialogue)to host political discussion. Businessman and former member of parliament. Imprisoned for 5 years for his efforts in the Damascus Spring.Subjected to a lot of ill-treatment; he was denied the right to leave the country for medical treatment. Demands for reform were announced in September 2000 as 'Statement of 99' and again in January as 'Statement of 1000'. The authorities took some reformist measures, most notably the release of many political prisoners. The reforms were soon withdrawn and opposition was suppressed and salons were closed. Many were arrested on grounds of 'attempting to change the constitution illegally'. Many of those who were involved in the Damascus Spring ended up being signatories for the Damascus Declaration in 2005. political objectives of the Damascus Spring Multiparty democracy Lifting of emergency and martial laws. Freedom of speech, press and assembly. Political prisoners to be released. Abolishment of the Ba'ath Party's special status in Syria. Economic rights to all citizens. 2002: Undersecretary for State claims that Syria is attempting to acquire WMDs. 2003: US invades Iraq, which Syria refuses to support, even though Hafez al-Assad had joined hands the US in the 1991 Gulf War. Syria denies that it is developing chemical weapons. 2004: Economic sanctions are imposed by the United States on Syria for 'supporting terrorism'. UN Security Force calls all foreign forces (Syria) to evacuate Lebanon. 2005: April; Syria withdraws troops from Lebanon. Investigation implicates Syrian officials in the death of Rafiq al-Hariri, Lebanon's president, who was assassinated in a bombing. Syria denies involvement. Former vice president Abdul Halim Khaddam, who was exiled, claims Hariri was threatened before his death. 2006: A UN Security Council resolution results in Syria and Lebanon resuming diplomatic relations after 25 years. 2007: Bashar al-Assad receives visit from EU foreign policy chief, as well as Nancy Pelosi, US House of Representatives Speaker and opponent of then president, George Bush. May; dissidents are arrested, including prominent journalist Michel Kilo and human rights lawyer Anwar al-Bunni. Bashar al-Assad is reelected for another seven year term . In September, Israel bombs a site, claiming it to be a nuclear reactor under construction. 2008: Arab League Summit is hosted by Syria. North Korea is accused of helping Syria to build a nuclear facility at the previously bombed site. Bashar al-Assad meets up with Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris, which marks the end of Syria's diplomatic isolation. 2009: Syrian journalist Michel Kilo is released from prison. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) claim that man-made uranium has been discovered at a second site in Syria. 2010: The United States sends an ambassador to Syria for the first time in five years. Sanctions are renewed against Syria - the United States claim that Syria supports terrorism and desires WMDs. revolution 2011 February,3: A 'Day of Dignity' is called through social networking sites March, 15: Activists gather in Damascus' Marjeh Square and the southern city of Deraa in response to the call and demand the release of political prisoners. About 30 of the 150 people gathered are arrested by Syrian Security Forces March, 18: Activists say 5 people were killed in Daraa during the dispersion of protestors. Daraa was reportedly sealed off the next few days. March, 20: Crowds protest the 48 year long state of emergency law by setting fire to the headquarters of the Ba'ath Party. March, 23: The Syrian State Media releases images of money, gun and hand grenades reportedly confiscated from a mosque in town. Six people reportedly killed in an attack on the Omari mosque complex. March, 25: Troops open fire on protestors in several cities. March, 27: 200 political prisoners are released. April, 21: The 48 year long state of emergency is lifted by Bashar al-Assad. April, 22: Good Friday Massacre. Sharpshooters kill at least 88 and leave many wounded in anti-government protests. April, 26: Open fire on civilians. House-to-house sweeps are conducted, and checkpoints are erected. Electricity, water and mobile phone services are cut off. April, 29: Executive Order 13572 is signed by President Obama. This allows the US Treasury Department to block the property of Syrian Intelligence Directorate, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and three Syrian officials. April, 29: A resolution is adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Alleged violations of international human rights law in Syria will be investigated executive order 13572 May, 10: The EU imposes sanctions on Syria. This includes an arms embargo and a travel ban on Bashar al-Assad's inner circle. May, 18: Sanctions are also imposed by the US with the signing of Executive Order 13573, where the property of Assad and 6 other senior officials are blocked. May, 23: Assad and nine other senior officials are added to the EU's list of people subject to restrictive measures. Army tanks enter Daraa, Banyas, Homs and Damascus to crush protestors in May. June, 7: The government attributes the death of 120 Syrian security force members in Jisr al-Shughour to extremists June, 20: President Assad promises reforms and greater freedoms. June, 13: Syrian troops deployed near the border with Iraq. June; Syria is reported for supposed covert nuclear reactor program. The building that was housing the alleged reactor was bombed by Israeli forces in 2007. July, 8: With support from US Ambassador Robert Ford and French ambassador Eric Chevallier, many gather in Hama to call for an end to Assad's rule. July, 15: Over a million activists protest in the streets. July, 31: Security forces kill over 100 people in Hama. July, 16: A National Security Council is elected in Istanbul to challenge Assad August, 18: President Obama and other world leaders demand for Assad's resignation. August, 7: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain recall their envoys from Syria as a form of protest. August, 13: Canada announces more sanctions on Syria. September, 2: An oil embargo and travel ban is imposed by the European Union September, 6: Norway will match sanctions by the EU. September, 8: President of Iran criticizes Assad and his use of violence. October, 2: Opposition activists meeting in Turkey announce the formation of the Syrian National Council October, 3: The PM of Turkey says that sanctions against Syria will be imposed. October, 4: A resolution by the United Nations Security Council is vetoed by Russia and China October, 24: The United States pulls its ambassador out of Syria. October, 11: "We will prepare our suicide bombers who are already with you if you bombard Syria or Lebanon. From today an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." - Syria's senior Sunni Muslim cleric to Europe and the US November, 12: Syria's membership in the Arab League is suspended. November, 15: Turkey threatens to cut off electricity to Syria. November, 16: A military base in Damascus is attacked by the rebel Free Syrian Army in one of the most daring and high-profile offensives. Moroccan embassy is attacked by demonstrators who oppose Morocco's agreement to vote Syria out of the Arab League. The Moroccan ambassador is withdrawn. November, 27: The Arab League imposes more sanctions against Syria. December, 1: The United Nations estimates the death toll to be over 4000. 2011 December, 6: The US ambassador is sent back to Syria to act as a witness and to advance US policy goals. December, 23: In Damascus, twin suicide bombers kill 44. December, 27: Protestors in Homs call for the execution of Bashar al-Assad. December, 12: United Nations Rights Chief Navi Pillay puts the death toll at over 5000 December: Syria allows Arab League observers into the country. December, 28: Security forces open fire on anti-government protestors. Over 700 detainees are also released following a report from Human Rights Watch. 2012 free syrian army syrian national council Coalition of 7 opposition organizations Aimed at offering an alternative to Assad's regime and as a point of contact for the international society The Syrian National Council includes: The Damascus Declaration for Democratic Change (born during the 2000-2001 Damascus Spring) The Muslim Brotherhood (which was quashed earlier during Hafez al-Assad's regime Syrian Revolution General Comission Kurdish clans Current president: Abdelbaset Sayda, a Kurd who was exiled in Sweden for several years. He replaced Burhan Ghalioun as the head of SNC. Ghalioun stepped down in May after criticism on his failure to make peace with groups in the opposition On the SNC's official website, they claim to abide by these principles: Aiming to overthrow Assad's rule by legal means Achieving national unity in Syrian society Protect the peaceful character of the Revolution in Syria Upholding national independence and rejecting foreign military intervention The SNC is made up of a majority of Sunni Muslims, and are struggling to win over Christians and Alawites (who remain loyal to the government) The SNC is trying to keep the uprising peaceful, and finds itself often at odds with the Free Syrian Army, another opposition group who are not opposed to toppling Assad by force. However, the two organizations have decided to coordinate future operations more closely. Formed in August 2011 by army deserters Headed by Riyad al-Asaad, former colonel of the air force Claimed to have 40,000 men in the FSA, but analysts believe there may be only around 10,000. Poorly armed, with only basic military training, unlike the Syrian army with an estimated 200,000 soldiers. Growing number of defections is weakening the army and strengthening the FSA. September 2011, FSA men and other defectors take control of some parts of Rastan. In early October, the government launched an offensive and recaptured the city. In January 2012, Residents of Zabadani claim to have been 'liberated' by the FSA and that the army had agreed to cease fire. Truce lasted for only several days before troops attacked to retake the town Later that month, many suburbs east of Damascus fall into FSA's control. The rebels are brought into the outskirts of the city for the first time. However, forces forced them to retreat The stronghold of the FSA is attacked by the military in February. The FSA troops move into the city in early March as a "tactical withdrawal" April, western powers announced that aid in the form of communications and intelligence support would be given. Gulf States agree to pay the salary of FSA men. Later in April, the government and FSA agreed to abide to the ceasefire negotiated by the UN and Arab League. Both sides accused each other of violating conditions and the attacks resumed. In mid-July, the FSA launched attacks in the heart of Damascus. They took control over several places but it did not last long. FSA fighters are believed to have little to no contact with each other and their leaders The United Nations Human Rights Council said that some members of FSA groups have violated human rights. FSA members were found to have tortured and executed suspected members of the pro-government Shabiha in Homs. The FSA leadership has also found difficulties cooperating with the SNC. It is acknowledged that some foreign jihadist militants (possibly linked to al-Qaeda) have joined the FSA. January, 2: A gas pipeline is hit by an explosion. This is blamed on 'terrorists'. January, 3: Colonel Riad al-Asaad of the FSA announces intentions to escalate operations if monitors are "still not serious" January, 5: A senior official defects from the government January, 6: A bomb kills at least 25 people in Damascus January, 11: Gilles Jacquier, a French cameraman, becomes the first Western journalist killed. January, 13: The French government orders a probe into the death of Jacquier. January, 26: Canada imposes fifth round of sanctions January, 28: The observer mission by the Arab League is suspended due to escalating violence. February, 2: Jordan withdraws its monitors from Syria February, 4: Russia and China vetoes a resolution from the UNSC for the second time February, 6: The US closes its embassy in Syria, pulling out all American diplomats February, 10: Bombings occur in the Syrian city of Aleppo, killing 28. February, 19: Egyptian ambassador recalled from Syria. February, 22: A French (Remi Ochlik) and American (Marie Colvin) journalist are killed in Homs. February, 27: More sanctions from the EU February, 28: The UN announces the death toll to be over 7500. February, 26: A referendum on the constitution is held in Syria, which is dismissed as a 'sham' by the West March, 1: Baba Amr district in Homs is seized by troops. March, 2: France announces that it will close its embassy in Syria March, 5: Canada announces the closing of its embassy. March, 8: Through a video on Youtube, Syria's deputy oil minister defects from Assad's regime, becoming the highest ranking official to date to do so. Syrian minister announcing his defection from Assad's regime on Youtube. March, 14: Italy closes its embassy in Syria. March, 15: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the Netherlands' embassies are closed and diplomats are withdrawn. March, 17: More bombings in Damascus. About 27 are killed. March, 20: The EU adds Asma Assad, Bashar al-Assad's wife, to the list of sanctioned individuals. March, 21: Japan closes its embassy in Syria. March, 26: The Norwegian embassy is closed, but a diplomat will remain, working from the Danish embassy. April, 12: The FSA and government enter a ceasefire period mediated by the UN April, 15: Ceasefire violations reported. April, 14: An observer mission to oversee the ceasefire is approved. April, 17: A video of the wives of the British and German ambassador to the UN appealing Asma Assad to stand up to her husband is released. April, 18: Mortar shells are fired at an opposition stronghold. April, 27: Protests occur throughout Syria. In Damascus, a suicide bomber in a mosque kills at least five civilians and police. April, 30: Syrian state media says two suicide bombers blew up cars near a military compound, killing at least 9. a syrian girl with the revolutionary flag painted on her face May, 3: Security forces enter dormitories in Aleppo University to dissolve protests. At least 4 students are killed. May, 4: Rallies are planned to protest the storming of the university. May, 5: A bomb kills at least 5 in a car wash in Aleppo. May, 9: Six soldiers are wounded when a roadside bomb hit a military truck. May, 7: First parliamentary elections are held since the new constitution, which is boycotted by many. May, 10: More than 40 people are killed in two explosions in Damascus. May, 15: Burhan Ghalioun is reelected leader of SNC May, 17: Ghalioun's reelection brings unfavourable reactions and he resigns. May, 29: Australia, Britain, the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, Bulgaria and Switzerland expel Syrian diplomats from their country. May, 18: Nine are killed in a suicide bombing. May, 27: An alleged massacre in Houla where over 100 were killed, inculding children, causes international outrage. May, 13: Forces conduct a raid on a farming village, resulting in at least 4 deaths. June, 6: A new prime minister is appointed. June, 5: Diplomats from several countries are banned by the Syrian government. June, 7: Syria denies claims by opposition groups about a new massacre in Hama Ban Ki-Moon says UN monitors came under fire as they tried to enter the scene of the alleged massacre. June, 15: The UN halts its mission in Syria due to the violence. June, 22: Syria shoots down a Turkish fighter jet, claiming that it was in Syrian airspace. June, 24: An emergency NATO meeting is called after one of Turkey's jets was shot down by Syrian forces. June, 13: Syrian forces force out rebels from an area near the Mediterranean coast and claim to have reclaimed control of it June, 25: 33 soldiers defected to Turkey. June, 28: A strong explosion occurs in the Palace of Justice June, 26: The elite Republican Guard clashes with rebels outside Damascus. June, 30: A special conference is called by envoy Kofi Annan to end the Syrian uprising, with the US and Russia disagreeing on Bashar al-Assad's role in a transition government. July, 2: Navi Pillay calls for the crimes against humanity in Syria to be referred to the ICC. July, 6: A member of the Republican Guard and a son of a former defence minister defects from Assad's regime. The Friends of Syria meet in Paris. July, 16: The 4th Syrian Humanitarian Forum takes place in Geneva. July, 12: The Syrian ambassador to Iraq defects. July, 5: Millions of emails from Syria are released by Wikileaks. July, 17: Syrian defence minister and Bashar al-Assad's brother in law killed in a suicide bombing. July, 15: The International Committee of the Red Cross declares the conflict a civil war. July, 13: Activists claim government forces attacked a small farming village, Tresmeh, killing around 200 people. July, 16: Syrian forces and rebels clash in Damascus. This causes the highway linking the capital to the Damascus airport to be closed temporarily. July, 23: Chemical weapons are threatened in the event of foreign military intervention, in Syria's first acknowledgment that it owns WMDs. July, 20: Rebels launch an assault to attempt to seize Aleppo. July, 30: The Syrian regime launches more attacks on Aleppo and citizens flee from the neigbourhood. August, 2: Kofi Annan resigns as peace envoy. August, 4: Heavy explosions occur in Damascus. August, 6: The Prime Minister of Syria, Riad Hijab, defects from Assad's regime. He is the highest ranking official to do so. August, 7: More than 1300 Syrians fled to Turkey overnight, a Turkish official says. An additional 12m dollars are approved for emergency relief aid in Syria by Obama. August, 15: The OIC suspends Syria's membership. August, 9: A new prime minister is appointed. August, 20: Six people are killed in Daraa on the second day of Eid al-Fitr as rebels and Syrian forces clash. August, 24: Riot breaks out in Lebanon as supporters and opponents of the Syrian government fight. August, 23: The US' military intervention threat is backed up by Britain and France with a no-fly zone in Syria should chemical weapons be deployed. August, 31: Activists say that rebels have begun an operation in Aleppo. September, 2: 4 army officers are lightly wounded by two bombs which also damaged a building and cars in the military headquarters in Damascus. The Free Syrian Army claims responsibility for this attack. September, 3: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the death toll at 5440 people. UNICEF claims 1600 were killed in the last week alone. September, 4: The UN says more than 100,000 Syrians have fled the country. September, 3: According to activists, a government plane bombed a town in northern Syria, killing at least 19 people. September, 5: The shipping of military equipment from Iran to Syria is resumed. September, 6: According to UNICEF, 1.3m children are affected by the uprising in Syria and are in need of basic supplies. September, 8: A pipe delivering drinking water to residents in Aleppo is destroyed in fights involving the rebels and the army. September, 20: Activists say many were killed when government warplanes bombed a crowded gasoline station. September, 22: The Free Syrian Army shifts their headquarters from Turkey to Syria September, 23: At a meeting of rebel groups in Damascus, opposition figures call for the overthrow of Assad. September, 25: Israel files a complaint with the UN after mortar shells launched from Syria land near the border. Bombs detonate inside a school that is allegedly used as a security headquarters for Syrian security forces. September, 26: In Damascus, military headquarters is struck by at least two explosions. The attack was followed by gunfire, which killed a TV correspondent during a live broadcast. September, 27: The UN says that by he end of 2012, the number of Syrians fleeing is likely to exceed 700,000. September, 29: The marketplace in Aleppo catches on fire as rebels continue their "decisive battle" for the city. October, 3: 3 suicide bombers claim at least 33 lives in Aleppo. There was also another explosion near Old City, a world heritage site. to be continued... references Najikoubat (2007, January 25). Syrian national Anthem. Retrieved October 4, 2012, from http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=jy5QYo_K3KA Telegraph TV (2012, March 8). Syrian minister Abdo Hussameddin: I announce my defection from the Assad Regime. 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October, 7: Syrian rebels capture a government army outpost near the Turkish border province. Fifth consecutive day of Turkish retaliation as a shell from Syria lands in the Turkish border town of Akcakale. October, 4: Syrian rebel al-Baraa brigade says they will kill 48 Iranian prisoners unless Assad frees opposition prisoners and stop shelling civilian areas. Qatar urges rebels not to kill Iranian prisoners. October, 8: Mortar bomb from Syria lands in Turkish province of Hatay. The Turkish military returns fire; sixth consecutive day of Turkish retaliation. Reuters. (2012). Mortar from Syria kills five family members in Turkey. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/03/us-syria-crisis-turkey-mortar-idUSBRE8920VV20121003 Reuters. (2012). Turkey steps up Syria strikes, says will defend borders. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/04/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE88J0X720121004 Reuters. (2012). 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Qatar urges Syrian rebels not to kill Iranian prisoners. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/07/us-syria-crisis-qatar-iran-idUSBRE89605J20121007 Reuters. (2012). Turkey returns fire after mortar bomb strike from Syria: official. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/08/us-syria-crisis-turkey-idUSBRE8970J320121008 Turkish soldiers taking positions at the Akcakale border gate. colonel riad al-asaad served in the Syrian air force from the early 1970s, defected in July 2011 commander of the FSA, currently the main dissident militant organization against Bashar al-Assad In interviews with the media, said he defected because he felt the regime was targeting him as a dissident, as he was interrogated by military intelligence officers. A member of the FSA claims that the colonel has no power over the FSA, which is denied by Riad al-Asaad in an interview. His family members have been executed by government forces. claims that he is being guarded by Turkish intelligence because of assassination attempts by the Syrian government. The Independent. (2012). Families of Syrian rebels killed in their homes, says UN. Retrieved October 4, 2012, from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/families-of-syrian-rebels-killed-in-their-homes-says-un-7786147.html The Journal of Turkish Weekly. (2012). Political Resolution on the Crisis in Syria is Impossible. Retrieved October 4, 2012, from: http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/140046/political-resolution-on-the-crisis-in-syria-is-impossible.html Has a Ph.D in Agriculture, and was the former Agricultural Minister before appointed as PM. Born in 1966, joined the Ba'ath Party in 1998 and served as its head in his hometown from 2004-08 riad hijab Was the governor of the Quneitra province, then the governor of Latakia. Appointed Agricultural Minister in April 2011, one month after the start of protests. Chosen as Prime Minister in June 2012, but defected on August 6th, fleeing to Jordan. riad hijab being appointed prime minister in june Al-Jazeera. (2012). Profile: Riad Hijab. Retrieved October 4, 2012, from: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/08/201286101039655176.html