Syria and the Soviet Union sign a treaty of friendship and cooperation.
1980 - 2015
In response to a Sunni rebellion in Hama, Assad’s military destroys the city and kills at least 20,000 people.
Assad dies. He is succeeded by his son Bashar, who many Syrians hope will be a reformer.
Tensions between the United States and Syria escalate after former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is assassinated by a truck bomb, allegedly with help from Assad’s regime.
Protests begin in Daraa after police torture teenagers who had painted anti-regime graffiti. As mass demonstrations spread, the Assad regime cracks down violently.Protests begin in Daraa after police
Obama warns Assad that using chemical weapons would cross a “red line,”
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forms
ISIS declares the creation of a caliphate across its territory in Syria and Iraq.
As the number of refugees tops 4 million
a photograph of a drowned Syrian toddler provokes international concern over the humanitarian crisis. After reaffirming its treaty with Syria, Russia officially joins the war, carrying out airstrikes and providing military aid to Assad.