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Syria: five years of crisis

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Syria: five years of crisis


March 2011

After the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, the unrest of what we now call the Arab Spring trickles over to Syria. Security forces open fire on protesters in the city of Dara. Demonstrations spread, as does the crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

No Comment (Avril 2011)

July 2011

Defecters from the Syrian security forces team up with rebel civilians and found the Free Syrian Army, with the goal of bringing down the Assad regime.

August-September 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama calls on Assad to resign and orders Syrian government assets frozen.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait recall their ambassadors to Syria. Relations between Syria and Turkey also deteriorate.

October 2011

China and Russia veto a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the violence in Syria and threatening sanctions.

February 2012

Kofi Annan is appointed Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and Arab League to the crisis.

August 2012

Kofi Annan quits after his attempts to broker a cease-fire fail.

Obama says the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be a “red line” that would change his thinking about military action.

March 2013

After advancing in the north of Syria, rebel forces capture Raqqah, a city of 500,000 people on the Euphrates River and the first major population center controlled by the opposition.

April 2013

A growing number of foreign jihadists join the fighting in Syria, and Islamist rebels create the militant group calling itself Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, says his group’s Shi’ite fighters are backing Assad’s forces.

May 2013

According to the United Nations, 4.25 million Syrians have been displaced by the conflict, which is now spreading beyond the country’s borders.

No Comment (June 2013:

August-September 2013

A chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs kills hundreds. Obama, blaming Assad’s government, says the U.S. has a responsibility to respond and puts it to a vote in Congress.

Russia proposes instead that Syria give up its chemical weapons, averting military strikes.

June 2014

Bashar al-Assad secures another seven-year mandate as Syrian President. ISIL militants proclaim an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

No Comment: al-Assad pledging allegiance

September 2014

A U.S.-led coalition including five Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar and Bahrain -begins airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria.

December 2014

Some 76,000 people died from the Syrian conflict in 2014, its deadliest year, according to the United Nations.

January 2015

With the help of U.S.-led airstrikes, Kurdish fighters take control of the northern Syrian city of Kobani, which had been under siege by ISIL fighters since September 2014.

June 2015

Tens of thousands of displaced Syrians head towards Europe to seek asylum. The continent faces its biggest influx of refugees since World War Two.

No Comment: (Juin 2015)

September 2015

Russia begins launching airstrikes in Syria in support of Assad’s forces.

November 2015

The group calling itself Islamic State (ISIL) claims responsibility for attacks in Paris that kill 130 people and wound hundreds. France ramps up its air strikes against ISIL targets in Syria in retaliation.

February 2016

The U.S. and Russia announce that a partial cease-fire in Syria will start Feb. 27. The truce quickly proves fragile.

March 2016

Russian President Vladimir Putin announces that his armed forces will begin withdrawing from Syria.

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