Hundreds stage protests in Damascus and Aleppo, calling for democratic reforms, demanding for greater civil liberties and freedom for political prisoners after 40 years the Assad autocracy.
Assad security forces crack down on protesers.
18th March 2011
4 Killed in the first deaths of the civil war.
Obama draws a red line
Obama says if the Assad regime started using chemical weapons, then the US would 'change its calculus' and intervene.
Obama administration orders Syrian governments assets to be frozen
President Barack Obama calls on Assad to resign and orders Syrian government assets frozen.
Annan quits UN-Arab League
Kofi Annan quits as UN-Arab League envoy after his attempts to broker a cease-fire failed.
Hama attacked by Assad Regime
assault on city of Hama, the epicenter of anti-regime protests, hundreds are left dead by Syrian security forces backed by tanks and snipers.
International demand for Assad to step down
August 18 2011
The United States, Britain, France and Germany and the European Union demand Assad resign, saying he is unfit to lead.
Russia and China veto UN resolution
Civil war spreads to Aleppo
Fighting spreads to Aleppo, Syria's largest city and its former commercial capital. Over time, rebels seize control of about half of the city, but the battle there rages to this day, leaving much of Aleppo in ruins.
Russia and China veto resolution against Syria
Feb 4 2012
—Feb. 4, 2012 — Russia and China veto a resolution in the U.N. Security Council that backs an Arab League plan calling for Assad to step down.
Creation of the Syrian National Coalilation.
The Syrian National Coalition is created, bringing together the main opposition factions. The umbrella group is hampered from the start by internal division and accusations that its members are out-of-touch exiles
The Creation of Free Syrian Army
The initial members had defected from Assad's militia.
Syrian Army recaptures Qusayr
The Syrian army recaptures the key border town of Qusayr, in an assault led by fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah
The start of chemical weapon use
August 21 2013
Assad regime accused of killing more than 1,400 people, according to the United States, with chemical weapons in two rebel-held zones near Damascus.
The begining of an Islamic front to fight the Syrian army.
September 2013: Around a dozen rebel groups abandon the Syrian National Coalition and reject its calls for a civil, democratic government. Seven of them later form their own alliance, the Islamic Front, intended to eventually create a state governed by Islamic law.
Destruction of Syrias chemical weapons
Syria destroys its chemical weapons production equipment.
No breakthrough by UN peace talks
February 2014: Two rounds of peace talks led by UN-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi in Geneva end without a breakthrough.
Brahimi resigns from UN Arab leage
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.
Rebels withdraw from Homs
09 May 2014
09 May 2014: Rebels withdraw part of Homs. This is asymbolic victory for the government, putting the area that had been under siege for more than a year firmly in government hands.
IS seizes parts of Iraq
Islamic State group,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.
Syrians vote- Assad overwhelmingly defeates other candidates
3 June 2014
Syrians in government areas vote in presidential elections. Assad, one of three candidates, overwhelmingly wins with 88.7 percent
IS takes control of al-Omar
3 July 2014
Islamic State group takes control of Syria's largest oil field, al-Omar, after fierce battles with the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's branch in Syria
James Foley beheaded by IS
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.
IS captures last of Assads outposts in Raqqa
24 August 2014
Islamic State fighters capture Tabqa military air base in northeastern Syria, eliminating the last government-held outpost in Raqqa province.
IS begins takeover of Kobani (Kurdish)
IS begins offensive to take Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, on the Turkish border.
US airstrikes commence
23 September 2014
US-led coalition begins airstrikes against Islamic State group targets in Syria
Kurds take back control of Kobani, helped by US airstikes
With the help of US-led airstrikes, Kurdish fighters take control of Kobani
IS releases video of Jordanian piolet
IS releases a video of captured Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned to death in a cage, sparking outrage in Jordan, which launches new strikes targeting the militants
IS takes Christian hostages
IS overruns several Christian villages in Syria's eastern Hassakeh province, taking at least 220 syrian Christians hostage.
IS tries to turn the US against Jordan
6 Feb 2015
IS claims a Jordanian airstrike kills American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller. US officials later confirm her death, but say it wasn't caused by a Jordanian airstrike.