Arab Spring Described: Arab Spring refers to the democratic uprisings that arose independently and spread across the Arab world in 2011. The movement originated in Tunisia in December 2010 and quickly took hold in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 4.8 million have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, and 6.6 million are internally displaced within Syria. Meanwhile about one million have requested asylum to Europe.
- Sunni – Around 74%
- Shia – 5%
- Alawites – Around 8%
- Christians – 7-10%
- Druze – 3%
- March 2011 – According to the BBC protests began in the Syrian city of Deraa (It began due to 15 schoolchildren were arrested – and reportedly tortured – for writing anti-government graffiti on a wall).
- 18th of March 2011 – The Army opened fire on protesters, killing four people.
- May 2011 – Army tanks enter Daraa, Banyas,Homs and suburbs of Damascus in effort to crush anti regime protests
- June 2011 – The government says 120 soldiers have been killed by Armed protesters.
- July 29th 2011 – The Free Syrian Army formed.
- 23rd of December 2011 – Twin suicide bombs outside security buildings in Damascus kills 44 people and injured 166. (Exploded outside Syrian Military intelligence agency buildings).
- February 2012 – The government steps up the bombardment of Homs and other cities.
- October 2012 – FSA blows up 3 security chiefs in Damascus and seizes Aleppo in the north.
- December 2012 – US, Britain, France, Turkey and Gulf states recognise opposition national coalition as ‘legitimate representative’ of Syrian people.
- March 2013 – Syrian warplanes bomb the northern city of Raqqa after rebels seize control/ US and Britain pledge non-military aid to rebels.
- June 2013 – Government and allied lebanese Hezbollah forces recapture strategically-important town of Qusair between Homs and Lebanese border.
- September 2013 – Around a dozen of rebel groups abandon the Syrian National Coalition and rejects it’s calls for a civil, democratic government.
- October 2013 – Syria destroys its chemical weapons production equipment. The number of Syrian refugees registered with the UN tops 2 million.
- 22nd of November 2013 – The Islamic Front is a Sunni Islamist rebel group involved in the Syrian Civil War, which was formed by the merger of seven separate groups.
2014: Rise of islamic state (ISIS)
- January 2014 – Infighting amongst rebels spread, pitting a variety of Islamists groups and moderate factions against the al-Qaida-breakaway calling itself Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
- 9th of May 2014 – Rebels evacuate from their last stronghold in the central city of Homs. Marks the end of 3 year resistance in the city.
- 13th of May 2014 – Brahimi resigns as UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, marking a second failure by the United Nations and Arab League to end the civil war.
- 3rd of June 2014 – Syrians in government areas vote in presidential elections. Assad, one of three candidates, overwhelmingly wins with 88.7 percent. Turn out was 73.42%.
- June 2014 – So called Islamic State group, as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is now known, seizes large parts of northern and western Iraq. In control of around a third of Syria and Iraq, it declares a self-styled Islamic caliphate.
- June 2014 – UN announces removal of Syria’s chemical weapons material complete.
- 3 July 2014 – Islamic State group takes control of Syria’s largest oil field, al-Omar, after fierce battles with the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria.
- 19 August 2014 – Islamic State militants release video of the beheading of American journalist James Foley, the first of five Westerners to be beheaded by the IS group.
- Mid-September 2014 – IS begins offensive to take Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, on the Turkish border.
- 2015 January – Kurdish forces push Islamic State out of Kobane on Turkish border after four months of fighting.
- 2015 May – Islamic State fighters seize the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria and proceed to destroy many monuments at pre-Islamic World Heritage site.
- 2015 September – Russia carries out its first airstrikes in Syria, saying they target the Islamic State group, but the West and Syrian opposition say it overwhelmingly targets anti-Assad rebels.
- 2015 December – Britain joins US-led bombing raids against Islamic State in wake of Paris suicide bombing attacks.
- 2016 February – A US-Russian negotiated partial ceasefire is agreed but fails to stick, as do repeated subsequent attempts.
- 2016 March – Syrian government forces retake Palmyra from Islamic State, with Russian air assistance.
- 2016 December – Government troops, backed by Russian air power and Iranian-sponsored militias, recaptures Aleppo.