24. Syria (1946-present)

 

Pre-Crisis Phase (April 17, 1946-March 29, 1949):  Syria formally achieved its independence from the LON mandate under French administration on April 17, 1946.  Legislative elections were held on July 2, 1947. President Shukri Kuwatly was re-elected by the Chamber of Deputies on April 18, 1948. Prime Minister Jamil Mardam Bey resigned on December 1, 1948, and Khaled Azem formed a government as prime minister on December 17, 1948. Some eight individuals were killed during political violence on December 1, 1948.

Crisis Phase (March 30, 1949-September 5, 1950):  President Kuwatly was overthrown in a military rebellion led by Colonel Husni Zayim on March 30, 1949, and General Zaim dissolved the parliament on April 2, 1949. Prime Minister Khalid Azem resigned on April 7, 1949. Iraq provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government of General Zayim on April 17, 1949, and the U.S. government provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government on April 27, 1949. General Zayim was elected president without opposition on June 25, 1949.  Twelve Jews, including eight children, were killed in a terrorist attack at the Menarsha Synagogue in Damascus on August 5, 1949.  President Zayim was overthrown in a military rebellion led by General Sami Hinnawi on August 14, 1949. General Zayim and Prime Minister Muhsin Barazi were executed by government soldiers on August 14, 1949. Hashim Atassi formed a coalition government as prime minister on August 15, 1949. Elections for the Constituent Assembly were held on November 15-16, 1949, and independents won 54 out of 114 seats in the Constituent Assembly. The People’s Party (Shaab) won 50 seats in the Constituent Assembly. Hashim Atassi was elected provisional president by the Constituent Assembly on December 14, 1949.  President Atassi appointed Khalid Azem as prime minister on December 27, 1949.  Prime Minister Azem resigned on May 29, 1950, and Nazim Qudsi of the PP formed a government as prime minister on June 4, 1950. The Constituent Assembly approved a new constitution, and elected Hashim Atassi as president on September 5, 1950. Some 100 individuals were killed during the crisis.

Post-Crisis Phase (September 6, 1950-November 28, 1951): Prime Minister Qudsi resigned on March 9, 1951, and Khalid Azem formed a government as prime minister on March 27, 1951. Prime Minister Azem resigned on July 31, 1951, and Hasan Hakim of the Shaab formed a government on August 9, 1951. Prime Minister Hakim resigned on November 10, 1951, and Maruf Dawalibi of the Shaab formed a coalition government as prime minister on November 28, 1951.

Crisis Phase (November 29, 1951-July 22, 1957): Colonel Adib Shishakli seized control of the government on November 29, 1951, and Prime Minister Dawalibi resigned on December 1, 1951. President Atassi resigned on December 2, 1951. Colonel Shishakli suspended the constitution, and appointed Major General Fawzi Silu as prime minister on December 2, 1951. Some 27 individuals were killed during anti-government demonstrations in Damascus on January 19, 1952. Colonel Shishakli abolished political parties on April 6, 1952. Colonel Shishakli was elected president with 99 percent of the vote on July 10, 1953, and he was inaugurated as president on July 11, 1953.  Legislative elections were held on October 9, 1953, and the Arab Liberation Party (ALP) won 60 out of 82 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. The Shaab and other political parties had boycotted the legislative elections.  Jebel Druze tribesmen led by Sultan Atrash rebelled against the government beginning in December 1953. Jebel Druze tribesmen killed three government policemen in Kraya on January 27, 1954. Government troops launched a military offensive against Jebel Druze tribesmen in southern and northeastern Syria on January 28, 1954. Government troops defeated the Jebel Druze tribesmen on February 21, 1954.  Colonel Shishakli was overthrown in a military rebellion led by Colonel Mustafa Hammoud on February 25-27, 1954, resulting in the deaths of some 32 individuals. Hashim Atassi was returned as provisional president on February 28, 1954.  President Atassi restored the 1950 constitution on March 2, 1954.  Legislative elections were held between September 25 and October 6, 1954, and independents won 67 out of 142 seats in the National Assembly. The Shaab won 27 seats in the National Assembly. Faris el-Khouri formed a government as prime minister on November 4, 1954.  Shukri Kuwatly was elected president by the parliament on August 18, 1955, and he was inaugurated as president on September 6, 1955. On February 26, 1957, twelve individuals were sentenced to death for plotting to overthrow the government.  The government lifted martial law on July 22, 1957. Some 1,000 individuals were killed during the crisis.

Post-Crisis Phase (July 23, 1957-September 27, 1961): The United Arab Republic (UAR), which was formed in a merger of Egypt and Syria, was approved in a referendum in both countries on February 21, 1958. President Gamal Abdel Nasser of the UAR dissolved Syrian political parties in March 1958.

Crisis Phase (September 28, 1961-December 22, 1961):  Syria withdrew from the UAR following a military rebellion on September 28-29, 1961. A military junta appointed Mahmoun Kuzbari as prime minister, defense minister, and foreign minister on September 29, 1961. Some 100 individuals were killed during the military rebellion. Jordan and Turkey provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government of Prime Minister Kuzbari on September 29, 1961, and Iran provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government on October 2, 1961. The Soviet Union provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government on October 7, 1961. Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government on October 8, 1961. The government banned political party activity on October 8, 1961. The U.S. government provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government on October 10, 1961, and Britain provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government on October 13, 1961. Prime Minister Kuzbari resigned on November 20, 1961, and Izzat Nus formed a interim government as prime minister on November 21, 1961. Elections were held on December 1, 1961, and the Shaab won 32 out of 172 seats in the Constituent Assembly. The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP) won 18 seats, and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) won seven seats in the Constituent Assembly. A provisional constitution was approved in a referendum on December 1, 1961. Nazim Qudsi was elected president by the Constituent Assembly on December 14, 1961. Maruf Dawalibi formed a government as prime minister on December 22, 1961. Some 100 individuals were killed during the crisis.

Post-Crisis Phase (December 23, 1961-March 27, 1962):

Crisis Phase (March 28, 1962-June 15, 1979): President Qudsi and Prime Minister Dawalibi resigned during a military rebellion led by Colonel Abdel Karim Nihlawi and Major General Abdel Karim Zahreddin on March 28, 1962. The military dissolved parliament, and declared a state-of-emergency on March 28, 1962. Government troops suppressed a military rebellion in Homs, Aleppo, Hama, and Baniyas on March 31-April 3, 1962, resulting in the deaths of five individuals. President Qudsi was returned to office on April 13, 1962. Bashir Azmah formed a government as prime minister on April 16, 1962. Prime Minister Azmah resigned on September 13, 1962, and Khalid Azem formed a government as prime minister on September 17, 1962. Prime Minister Azem dissolved the National Assembly on September 20, 1962. The government lifted the state-of-emergency on December 23, 1962. President Qudsi and Prime Minister Azem were deposed in a military coup on March 8, 1963, and the National Revolutionary Council (NRC) headed by Louai Attassi took control of the government. The NRC declared a state-of-emergency on March 8, 1963, and appointed Salah Bitar of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP) as prime minister on March 9, 1963. Three individuals were killed during the military coup. President Sallal of North Yemen and President Nasser of the United Arab Republic expressed support for the military coup on March 8, 1963. Iraq deployed troops on the Iraq-Syria border in support of the military coup, and provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the NRC on March 8, 1963. Britain, France, and the U.S. provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the NRC on March 12, 1963. Some 50 individuals were killed during political violence in Aleppo and Damascus on May 8-9, 1963. Prime Minister Bitar resigned on May 11, 1963, but he formed a new government on May 13, 1963. The government suppressed a military rebellion in Damascus on May 22, 1963. The government suppressed a military rebellion by some 2,000 soldiers led by Colonel Abdul Hamid Serraj in Damascus on July 17-18, 1963, resulting in the deaths of some 70 individuals. On July 19-21, 1963, twenty-seven individuals were executed for their involvement in the military rebellion. On July 27, 1963, Major General Amin Hafez was appointed as chairman of the National Council of the Revolutionary Command following the resignation of Major Genenral Atassi. Salah Bitar formed a government as prime minister on August 4, 1963. On October 17, 1963, thirteen individuals were sentenced to death for their involvement in the July 1963 military rebellion. Prime Minister Bitar resigned on November 11, 1963, and General Amin Hafez formed a government as prime minister on November 12, 1963. The National Council was replaced by the Presidential Council, which consisted of three civilians and two military personnel. Government troops suppressed a rebellion led by Abdul Karim Muhammad in Hama on April 13-15, 1964, resulting in the deaths of 20 government soldiers and 50 civilians. Abdul Karim Muhammad was sentenced to death on April 20, 1964. The government declared a new constitution on April 25, 1964. Twenty-one individuals were sentenced to death for their involvement in the April rebellion in Hama on May 2, 1964, but the death sentences were commuted to prison terms on May 5, 1964. Salah Bitar formed a government as prime minister on May 14, 1964. Prime Bitar resigned on October 3, 1964, and General Amin Hafez, the president of the Presidential Council, formed a government as prime minister on October 4, 1964. The government nationalized nine oil companies on March 4, 1965. The National Council of the Revolutionary Command was replaced by the 95-member National Revolutionary Council on August 23, 1965. The National Revolutionary Council elected a Presidential Council chaired by General Amin Hafez on September 2, 1965. President Hafez resigned as prime minister on September 23, 1965, and Youssef Zeayen formed a government as prime minister. Prime Minister Zeayen resigned on December 21, 1965, and Salah Bitar formed a government as prime minister on January 1, 1966. President Hafez and Prime Minister Bitar were deposed in a military coup led by General Salal Jadid on February 23, 1966, resulting in the deaths of some 400 individuals. Nureddin Atassi was named president on February 25, 1966. Youssef Zeayen formed a government as prime minister on March 2, 1966, and General Hafez al-Assad was appointed as defense minister.  The government suppressed a military rebellion led by Colonel Selim Hatoum on September 8-9, 1966. The government suppressed a rebellion on June 10, 1967. On June 26, 1967, two individuals were executed for their involvement in the September 1966 rebellion. Prime Minister Youssef Zeayen resigned, and President Atassi formed a government as prime minister on October 29, 1968. Rival factions of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP) headed by President Atassi (progressive faction) and General Hafez al-Assad (nationalist faction) competed for control of the government beginning in 1968. Algeria attempted to mediate negotiations between the rival factions of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP) on March 4-6, 1969. Iraq attempted to mediate negotiations between the parties on March 5-7, 1969. Egypt attempted to mediate negotiations between the parties on March 6, 1969. President Atassi was deposed in a military coup led by General Hafez al-Assad on November 13, 1970. General Hafez al-Assad formed a government as prime minister, and Ahmad Khatib was chosen as president of Syria on November 19, 1970. A People’s Council was established by presidential decree on February 16, 1971, and unanimously approved General Hafez al-Assad as president on March 2, 1971. General Hafez al-Assad was formally approved as president in a referendum on March 12, 1971, and he was inaugurated as president on March 14, 1971. President Hafez al-Assad resigned as prime minister on April 1, 1971, and General Abdel Rahman Khleifawi formed a government as prime minister on April 3, 1971. The government suppressed a rebellion on June 11, 1971. Prime Minister Khleifawi resigned on December 21, 1972, and Mahnoud Ayoubi of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP) formed a government as prime minister on December 24, 1972. The People’s Council approved a draft constitution on January 31, 1973. Some 40 individuals were killed during demonstrations against the draft constitution in Hama on February 21-23, 1973. Twenty-three individuals were killed in Homs on February 25, 1973. The draft constitution was approved in a referendum on March 12, 1973. A new constitution was approved in a referendum on March 12, 1973 (martial law, which was imposed on August 3, 1963, remained in effect).  Legislative elections were held on March 25-26, 1973, and the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP) won 111 out of 186 seats in the People’s Council. The MB and other opposition groups called for a boycott of the legislative elections. Government troops and demonstrators clashed in Homs on April 15, 1973. President Hafez al-Assad survived an attempted assassination by military officers on July 10, 1973. Mahmoud Ayoubi of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP) formed a government as prime minister in August 31, 1974. Prime Minister Ayoubi resigned on August 1, 1976, and Major-General Abdul Rahman Khleifawi formed a government as prime minister on August 7, 1976.  Legislative elections were held on August 1-2, 1977, and the National Progressive Front (NPF), which consisted of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP), won 159 out of 195 seats in the People’s Council.  Some 1,000 individuals were killed during the crisis.

Conflict Phase (June 16, 1979-February 20, 1982): Some 63 Alawite Muslim army cadets were killed by Sunni Muslims at Aleppo artillery school on June 16, 1979. Fifteen members of the MB were executed on June 18, 1979. Alawite Muslims and Sunni Muslims clashed in Latakia on August 30, 1979, resulting in the deaths of 12 individuals. Fifteen individuals were killed in political violence in Aleppo on October 19, 1979. Amnesty International (AI) condemned the government for the mistreatment and execution of political prisoners on October 24, 1979. Some 200 individuals were killed in political violence between April and October 1979. On December 26, 1979, five individuals were executed in Damascus for their involvement in the Aleppo killings. President Hafez al-Assad appointed Abdel Raouf al-Kasim as prime minister on January 9, 1980.  MB supporters attacked government installations in Aleppo and Hama beginning on March 8, 1980. Government troops killed some 150 individuals in the town of Jisr al-Shughour on March 9, 1980.  The government suppressed an attempted assassination of President Hafez al-Assad on June 26, 1980, and the government approved a law that provided for the death penalty for membership in the MB on July 7, 1980.  Several hundred members of the MB were killed by government troops near Aleppo on August 14, 1980.  MB members killed 15 government soldiers and seven civilians in Aleppo on June 1, 1981.  Legislative elections were held on November 9-10, 1981, and the National Progressive Front (NPF), including the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP), won 195 out of 195 seats in the People’s Council.  Some 64 individuals were killed and 135 wounded in a MB bombing in Damascus on November 29, 1981. President Hafez al-Assad appointed Abdel Raouf al-Kasm as prime minister on December 3, 1981. Government troops and MB rebels clashed in Hama on February 2-20, 1982, resulting in the deaths of some 10,000 individuals. Some 25,000 individuals, including 1,000 government soldiers, were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (February 21, 1982-June 3, 2011): President Hafez al-Assad was approved for a third seven-year term in February 1985.  Legislative elections were held on February 10-11, 1986, and the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP) won 129 out of 195 seats in the parliament (Majlis al-Sha’ab).  The Syrian Communist Party (SCP) and the ASU each won 9 seats in the parliament (Majlis al-Sha’ab).  Sixty individuals were killed in a bombing in Damascus on March 13, 1986.  Twenty-seven individuals were killed in two car bombings in Tartus on April 15, 1986, and 140 individuals were killed in several bus bombings in northern Syria on April 16, 1986.  The European Community (EC) imposed military sanctions (arms embargo) against the government on November 14, 1986.  Mahmud Zubi was appointed as prime minister in November 1987.  President Hafez al-Assad was approved for a fourth seven-year term on December 2, 1991. Prime Minister Zubi resigned on June 24, 1992, but he formed a new government on June 29, 1992.  Legislative elections were held on August 24, 1994, and the National Progressive Front (NPF), including the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP), won 167 out of 250 seats in the People’s Council.  The EU lifted military sanctions (arms embargo) against the government on November 28, 1994.  Legislative elections were held on November 30, 1998, and the National Progressive Front (NPF), including the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP), won 167 out of 250 seats in the People’s Council.  President Hafez al-Assad was approved for a fifth seven-year term on February 10, 1999.  Prime Minister Mahmoud Zoubi resigned on March 7, 2000, and Mohammed Mustafa Miro formed a government as prime minister on March 20, 2000. President Hafez al-Assad died on June 10, 2000.  Bashar al-Assad was elected president with 97 percent of the vote on July 11, 2000, and he was sworn in as president on July 17, 2000.  On September 7, 2001, Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned the government for "arbitrary arrest and intimidation" of opponents of the government. Prime Minister Mustafa Mero resigned on December 10, 2001.  Legislative elections were held on March 2, 2003, and the National Progressive Front (NPF), including the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP), won 167 out of 250 seats in the People's Council.  Muhammad Naji Etri, a member of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP), was appointed as prime minister on September 10, 2003.  Government policemen and ethnic Kurds clashed in Aleppo and Afrin on March 16-17, 2004, resulting in the deaths of several individuals, including three government policemen.  Government troops clashed with Islamic militants near the town of Maarrat al-Numan on December 8, 2005, resulting in the deaths of eight Islamic militants.  Five individuals, including a government policeman and one civilian, were killed in a bombing in Damascus on April 27-28, 2004.  On April 29, 2004, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) condemned those responsible for the Damascus bombing.  The U.S. government imposed economic sanctions (assets freeze, trade restrictions, and flight ban) against the Syrian government on May 11, 2004.  On June 9, 2005, the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP) decided to ease the state-of-emergency that had been in effect since March 1963.  Government troops killed five Islamic militants in Hama province on September 2, 2005.  Government troops clashed with Islamic militants near Zabadani on March 14, 2006, resulting in the deaths of two Islamic militants.  Government troops clashed with Islamic militants in Damascus on June 2, 2006, resulting in the deaths of four Islamic militants and two security guards.  Four militants and one government security guard were killed during an attack against the U.S. embassy in Damascus on September 12, 2006.  Legislative elections were held on April 22, 2007, and the and the National Progressive Front (NPF), including the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP), won 169 out of 250 seats in the People's Council.  Opposition groups called for a boycott of the legislative elections.  President Bashar al-Assad was re-elected with 98 percent of the vote in a referendum held on May 27, 2007. Shiekh Mahmoud Abu al-Qaqaa, a Sunni Muslim cleric, was assassinated by gunman in the city of Aleppo on September 28, 2007.  Imad Mughniyeh, a Hezbollah leader, was assassinated in a car bombing in Damascus on February 12, 2008.  The U.S. government imposed additional economic sanctions, including the freezing of assets, of senior Syrian government officials on February 13, 2008.  Government troops killed three ethnic Kurds in the city  of Qameshli on March 21, 2008.  Military policemen clashed with Islamist inmates at Saydnaya prison near Damascus on July 5, 2008, resulting in the deaths of some 25 individuals.  Brig. General Mohammed Suleiman, a national security adviser to President Bashar al-Assad, was assassinated at his beach house near the port city of Tartus on August 4, 2008.  Seventeen civilians were killed in a car bombing in Damascus on September 27, 2008.  Foreign Secretary David Miliband of Britain, as well as the governments of France, Russia, and the U.S., condemned the car bombing.  Shaker al-Abssi, leader of Fatah al-Islam, was killed by government security forces in Jermana on December 10, 2008.  Simultaneous demonstrations against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, known as the "Day of Rage", began in several cities across the country on March 15, 2011.  Government troops killed 72 protesters in the village of Ezra and other locations on April 22, 2011.  Government troops conducted a military operation against opponents of the government in Daraa from April 25 to May 5, 2011, resulting in the deaths of dozens of civilians and soldiers.  On April 26, 2011, British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned Syrian government's use of violence against pro-democracy demonstrations.  The U.S. government imposed economic sanctions (assets freeze) against three top Syrian government officials, including Syria's intelligence chief Ali Mamluk, on April 29, 2011.  On May 10, 2011, the European Union (EU) imposed military sanctions (arms embargo) against the Syrian government and opposition.  The EU also imposed economic sanctions (assets freeze and visa ban) against Syrian government officials.  On May 19, 2011, the U.S. government imposed economic sanctions (assets freeze) against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and six other Syrian government officials for human rights abuses.  On May 23, 2011, the EU imposed economic sanctions (assets freeze and travel ban) on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and nine other government officials.

Conflict Phase (June 4, 2011-present):  Government troops clashed with Syrian rebels in the town of Jisr al-Shughour on June 4-12, 2011, resulting in the deaths of 172 rebels and 120 government soldiers.  Syrian government troops suppressed government demonstrations in the cities of Hama and Deir ez-Zor from July 3 to August 4, 2011, resulting in the deaths of more than 200 civilians.  The EU expanded economic sanctions (travel ban) against additional Syrian government officials on August 1, 2011.  Foreign Secretary William Hague of Britain and President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia condemned the Syrian government on August 1, 2011.  On August 4, 2011, the UN Security Council approved a resolution condemning human rights violations and the use of force by the Syrian government.  Colonel Riad al-Asaad, a defector from the Syrian military, established the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on July 29, 2011.  The FSA became the armed forces of the Syrian National Council (SNC), which was established with 270 members in Istanbul, Turkey on August 23, 2011.  Britain, France, U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey have provided financial and military assistance to the SNC and FSA since 2011.  Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah (Lebanon) have provided financial and military assistance to the Syrian government since 2011.  The EU imposed economic sanctions (ban on Syrian oil imports into the EU) against the Syrian government on September 2, 2011.  Syrian rebels ambushed and killed six government soldiers and three civilians on a bus near Hama on September 4, 2011.  On September 13, 2011, the League of Arab States (LAS) called for an immediate end to the bloodshed in Syria.  The FSA merged with the Free Officers Movement (FOM) on September 23, 2011.  On October 5, 2011, China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Syrian government for its crackdown on anti-government protesters.  Libya recognized the SNC as the legitimate government of Syria on October 19, 2011.  A six-member delegation from the League of Arab States (LAS) headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad al-Thani of Qatar began mediation efforts to end the violence in Syria on October 26, 2011.  Turkey expressed support for the SNC on November 15, 2011.  After the Syrian government ignored the LAS peace plan, the League of Arab States (LAS) imposed diplomatic sanctions (suspension of membership) against the Syrian government on November 16, 2011.  On November 18, 2011, the Syrian government conditionally accepted a LAS proposal to send a mission to observe the implementation of a peace plan.  Italy expressed support for the SNC on November 25, 2011.  After the Syrian government refused to allow LAS monitors into the country, the LAS imposed economic sanctions (assets freeze and investment embargo) against the Syrian government on November 27, 2011.  The U.S. government recognized the SNC as the legitimate representative of the people of Syria on December 5, 2011.  Government troops killed more than 180 individuals, mostly army defectors, in the Jabal al-Zawiya area on December 19-20, 2011.  The Syrian government agreed to a League of Arab States (LAS)-mediated peace plan, including the deployment of LAS monitors, on December 19, 2011.  Forty-four individuals, mostly civilians, were killed in two suicide car bombings in Damascus on December 23, 2011.  The LAS Observer Mission to Syria (OMS), which consisted of 165 civilian and military observers from six countries commanded by Lt. General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi of Sudan, was deployed to Syria beginning on December 23, 2011.  As a part of the LAS peace plan, the Syrian government released 3,500 prisoners on January 3, 2012 and 552 prisoners on January 5, 2012.  Twenty-six individuals, including 11 government policemen, were killed in suicide bombings in Damascus on January 6, 2012.  On January 8, 2012, the LAS foreign ministers called on the Syrian government to end the violence in the country.  After four of the six contributing countries withdrew their personnel from Syria, the LAS suspended the Observer Mission in Syria (OMS) on January 28, 2012.  On February 4, 2012, China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Syrian government for the violent crackdown on anti-government groups.  Tunisia withdrew its diplomatic recognition of the government of President Bashar al-Assad on February 4, 2012.  Twenty-eight individuals, including 24 members of the government security forces, were killed in suicide car bombings in Aleppo on February 10, 2012.  On February 17, 2012, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution condemning human rights violations in Syria, calling for an end to the violence, and calling for the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad.  Deputy Foreign Minister Zhai Jun, Chinese envoy to Syria, attempted to mediate an end to the conflict on February 17-18, 2012.  Deputy Foreign Minister Zhai Jun, Chinese envoy to Syria, appealed for an to the conflict on February 18, 2012.  Kofi Annan of Ghana served as UN-LAS Envoy to Syria beginning on February 23, 2012.  Britain, Egypt, and France recognized the SNC as the legitimate representative of the people of Syria on February 24, 2012.  A new constitution providing for a multi-party system was approved by 89 percent of voters in a referendum held on February 26, 2012.  Opposition groups called for a boycott of the referendum.  Twenty-seven individuals were killed in two car bombings in Damascus on March 17, 2012.  The EU imposed economic sanctions (travel ban and assets freeze) on the wife of President Bashar al-Assad, Asma al-Assad, and other family members on March 23, 2012.  On April 2, 2012, the Syrian government agreed to an April 10th deadline to begin implementing the UN-LAS six-point peace plan mediated by Kofi Annan.  The UN-LAS peace plan included a UN-supervised ceasefire, withdrawal of Syrian government soldiers from cities, and the delivery of humanitarian assistance.  On April 6, 2012, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon condemned the Syrian government for continued military hostilities.  On April 11, 2012, the Syrian government announced that it would end military operations the next day.  On April 14, 2012, the UN Security Council approved a resolution authorizing the deployment of an advanced team of 30 unarmed monitors to Syria to observe the ceasefire beginning on April 15, 2012.  On April 21, 2012, the UN established the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to monitor the cessation of armed violence in Syria and to support the implementation of the UN-LAS six-point peace plan.  UNSMIS consisted of 300 military observers from 47 countries and 71 international civilian staff commanded by Major General Robert Mood of Norway (April 27-July 20, 2012) and Lt General Babacar Gaye of Senegal (July 21-August 19, 2012).  Ten individuals were killed in suicide bombings in Damascus on April 27, 2012.  Legislative elections were held on May 7, 2012, and the National Progressive Front (NPF), including the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP), won 168 out of 250 seats in the People's Council.  Opposition groups called for a boycott of the legislative elections.  Some 55 individuals were killed in car bombings near a military intelligence complex in Damascus on May 10, 2012.  The UN Security Council condemned the car bombings in Damascus on May 10, 2012. Syrian government troops and pro-government militiamen killed some 108 individuals, including 34 women and 49 children, in the Houla region on May 25, 2012.  The same day, the UN Security Council voted to condemn the Syrian government for the Houla massacre.  On June 4, 2012, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) announced that it was no longer committed to the ceasefire in Syria.  President Bashar al-Assad appointed Riad Hijab of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (ASBP) as prime minister on June 6, 2012.  Due to continued violence in the country UNSMIS suspended its activities in Syria on June 15, 2012.  U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin jointly appealed for an immediate end to violence in Syria on June 19, 2012.  Government troops clashed with Syrian rebels in the village of Tremseh on July 12-13, 2012, resulting in the deaths of some 150 individuals.  On July 13, 2012, the Syrian government was condemned by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Britain, France, China, Iraq, Turkey, and the U.S. for the killings in the village of Tremseh.  Four individuals, including Defense Minister Daoud Rajiha, Deputy Defense Minister Assef Shawkat, and General Hassan Turkomani, were killed in a suicide attack at the National Security headquarters in Damascus on July 18, 2012.  On July 18, 2012, the governments of Iran, Lebanon, Russia, South Africa, and Venezuela condemned the Damascus suicide attacks.  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon also condemned the suicide attacks.  Kofi Annan resigned as UN-LAS envoy to Syria on August 2, 2012, and Lakhdar Brahimi of Algeria was appointed as the new UN-LAS envoy to Syria on August 18, 2012.  Prime Minister Riad Hijab defected to the opposition on August 6, 2012, and Wael Nader al-Halqi was appointed as prime minister on August 9, 2012.  The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) imposed diplomatic sanctions (suspension of membership) against the Syrian government on August 16, 2013.  UNSMIS was disbanded on August 19, 2012.  On August 20, 2012, the U.S. government threatened military action against the Syrian government if it deployed or used chemical or biological weapons.  France formally recognized the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) on November 13, 2012.  Some 34 individuals were killed in two car bombings in Damascus on November 28, 2012.  Seven individuals were killed in bombings at the Syrian Interior Ministry in Damascus on December 12, 2012.  The U.S. government formally recognized the Syrian National Council (SNC) as 'the legitimate representative" of the Syrian people on December 12, 2012.  Some 82 individuals were killed in bombings at Aleppo University on January 15, 2013.  Some 31 individuals, including 14 children and five women, were killed in a Syrian military rocket attack in Aleppo on February 19, 2013.  More than 80 individuals, including civilians and government soldiers, were killed in car bombings in Damascus and Barzeh on February 21, 2013.  Twelve civilians were killed in Syrian military rocket attacks in Aleppo on February 22, 2013.  On February 23, 2013, the U.S. government condemned the Syrian government for the killing of civilians in recent rocket attacks in Aleppo. On March 6, 2013, the League of Arab States (LAS) approved the arming of Syrian rebels by LAS member-states.  On March 6, 2013, the British government announced that it would be providing military assistance (non-combat armored vehicles and body armor) to Syrian rebels.  Sheikh Mohammed al-Buti, a Sunni Muslim cleric, and 41 other individuals were killed in a suicide bombing at the Iman mosque in Damascus on March 21, 2013.  A delegation representing the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) headed by Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib was granted the Syrian seat at the League of Arab States (LAS) summit meeting held in Qatar on March 26, 2013.  Some 15 individuals were killed in a car bombing at the Syrian Central Bank building in Damascus on April 8, 2013.  On April 22, 2013, the European Union (EU) agreed to permit the import of crude oil and petroleum products from opposition-held areas in Syria.  Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi survived a car bomb attack that killed six other individuals in Damascus on April 29, 2013.  On May 15, 2013, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution calling for a political transition in Syria and condemning the Syrian government's use of heavy weapons.  The EU lifted the arms embargo against the Syrian opposition on June 1, 2013.  Government troops recaptured the town of Qusair from Syrian rebels on June 5, 2013.  On June 5, 2013, the U.S. government condemned the Syrian government for its attack against the town of Qusair.  Some 14 individuals were killed in suicide bombings in Marjeh Square in Damascus on June 11, 2013.  On June 13, 2013, the U.S. government announced that it would provide military assistance (weapons and ammunition) to the Syrian opposition.  Some 14 individuals were killed in suicide bombings in Damascus on June 27, 2013.  As of June 30, 2013, some 95,000 individuals were killed and more than 1.5 million individuals were displaced during the conflict.

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