Timeline: Syria unrest
The bloody conflict in Syria, which started more than 21 months ago, started as peaceful protests for reform in the wake of the Arab Spring, but morphed into a bitter civil war.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Wednesday that more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising started.
March 15: First protests after calls on Facebook for a “Day of Dignity”.
March 18-27: Crackdowns in Damascus, Banias and Daraa, cradle of the uprising, where 100 people are reportedly killed on the 23rd.
April 25-26: Protests spread and strengthen, with calls for the regime of Bashar al-Assad’s fall.
August 18: US President Barack Obama and his allies urge Assad to quit. Western and Arab states later impose sanctions on his regime.
October 2: Creation of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC).
March 21: The UN Security Council demands that Syria implement a peace plan drawn up by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan calling for a ceasefire and democratic transition.
June 16: UN observers, deployed to monitor the April ceasefire deal, which was not respected, suspend operations.
July 18: Four top security officials, including Assad’s brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, killed in a Damascus attack.
July 19: Russia and China for the third time veto a UN Security Council resolution that would threaten sanctions against Assad.
July 23: Regime forces say they have reclaimed most of Damascus after days of unprecedented clashes.
July 28: The military launches a dawn assault on Syria’s economic capital Aleppo.
November 5-7: Attacks spiral in Damascus and its outskirts, with dozens killed.
November 11: The opposition signs a unity deal in Doha to form a national coalition against Assad’s regime.
November 29: The regime launches a major offensive on a radius of eight kilometres (five miles) around the capital. The area becomes the major battleground in the Syria conflict.
December 11: Washington puts key Syrian rebel group, the Al-Nusra Front, on its terror blacklist, citing al-Qaeda links, a day after the jihadist faction captures a key army base.
December 22: Nato accuses the Syrian regime of firing Scud-style missiles at rebels.
December 28: Russia urges Assad to talk to the opposition.
December 30: International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi announces a peace plan he believes could find support from world powers.
January 1: Syria ushers in the New Year with new violence with regime air strikes, as Aleppo airport is closed after repeated rebel attacks.