To help the delegates with the order of the most important facts that took place in Syria’s conflict, the Chair translated a timeline of the conflict elaborated by teacher Maria Rita Reis.
March 2011: Pro-democratic protests intensify after the torture of youngsters who painted their school’s walls with revolutionary slogans / Violent repression from the government (death of protesters) / More protests ask for Assad’s replacement.
April 2011: Governmental measures to appease the population (end of the Emergency State that has been issued for 48 years) / Accusation of protesters being Israeli agents.
May 2011: The Syrian Army enters Daraa (where said protests began), Homs and the suburb of Damascus to supress protests, accusing “armed criminal gangs” for the violence / The United States and European Union raise the sanctions against Syria / Assad announces amnesty for political prisioners.
June 2011: The government accuses “armed groups” of killing soldiers / City siege – 10,000 civilians flee to Turkey / Promisses of dialogue over reformations / the Government still accuses external agents of starting the protests.
July 2011: More protests spread across the country and are supressed by the Army / Assad’s opposition gathers in Turkey to form a coalition / It accuses the Government of making “cosmetic reformations” / International condemnation of the excessive use of violence in protest supressions.
August 2011: Great protests at the end of Ramadan / Syrian Armed Forces, with the help of tanks and snipers, keep fighting protests / the Government declares it is fighting “terrorists” and it won’t stand down / the Free Syrian Army declares having kidnapped 48 Iranian shiites, supposed members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
October 2011: The Syrian National Council is created aiming to finish Assad’s rule and establish a democratic regime / Russia and China veto a resolution condemning Syria.
November 2011: The Arab League issues Syria’s suspension and imposes sanctions / Fast militarization of the opposition / Syrian Army’s desertes (Free Syrian Army) attack a military base near Damascus / Government supporters attack embassies.
December 2011: Syria accepts an initiative from the Arab League of sending Arab observers to the country / Thousands of people gather at Homs to receive them, but the mission is cancelled the following month due to an increase in violence in the country / Government and opposition exchange accusations about the authorship of suicidal attacks.
January 2012: The US, England and France condemn Russia for selling weapons to Syria / Great demonstrations of support towards the Free Syrian Army, despite the violent repression / Strikes and another forms of civil disobedience take place across the country / Death numbers keep rising.
February 2012: Russia and China veto another resolution on the Syrian crisis at the Security Council / Russia and China support instead a resolution based on Kofi Annan’s peace plan (a new Constitution banning the Ba’ath party’s monopoly, etc.) / Government intensifies the bombing over Homs and other cities / Violent repression comes to alarming levels.
March 2012: Situation arises as a civil war / Activists report civilian massacres / The UNSC endorses Kofi Annan’s peace plan along with the Arab League, after a review of the original text required by Russia and China / There is no consensus about a formal resolution / Al Nusra assumes the authorship of the first terrorist attack / The European Union imposes sanctions on Assad and his family.
May 2012: Despite the presence of UN monitors, the violence persists / Security Council condemns the use of heavy ammunition by the Syrian government and the murder of more than 100 civilians comitted by militias / More civilian massacres are reported, including women, children and summary executions.
June 2012: UN observers arrive at Syria to implement Annan’s peace plan, but return this very month due to violence level increase / Syrian Government’s employees start to desert / Tensions with Turkey, air space violation / Syria declares to be officially at war / Many fronts in the country / Massacre reports multiply.
July 2012: Syrian minister of Foreign Affairs declares the use of chemical weapons only in case of external aggression / Thousands of civilians flee to neighboring countries / Kurd Forces establish control over northeastern Syria.
August 2012: Annan doesn’t renew his mandate as the UN and Arab League’s envoy / UN’s General Assembly approves resolution for Assad’s firing / High office employees of the Syrian government desert.
September 2012: Increase of violations to human rights by the Assad regime / the Human Rights Watch accuses opposition groups of comitting war crimes.
October 2012: Number of deaths excedes 100 per day / Refugees’ situation aggravates / First death case in a fight between arab Syrians and kurd Syrians / Tensions at the border with Turkey / the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) threatens to intervene in case the conflicts persist / Syria and Turkey ban eachother from their respective air spaces / the historical market in Aleppo is destroyed / the US tags Jabhat al Nusra as a terrorist group.
November 2012: Opposition factions agree to unite themselves to create the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the Opposition Forces / Islamic militias and Kurds refuse to take part in the agreement / Tension with Israel after a Syrian mortar hits an Israeli military post (Israel answers with artillery).
December 2012: The US, England, Spain, France, Turkey and the Gulf states recognize the SNC as the legitimate representation of the Syrian people / Number of deaths and refugees rises exponentially / The conflict assumes sectarian conflict traits.
January 2013: Multiple reports of civilian massacres / Assad declares he won’t resign / The opposition refuses to negotiate with Assad / 50 members of the UN wants the investigation of both party by the International Court.
February 2013: “Undescribible” humanitarian situation / Refugees multiply / Rebels try to establish governments in areas under their command.
March 2013: SNC and Opposition Forces elect a Prime Minister / US and England promise non-military help for the rebels / England and France propose reverting the weapon embargo established by the EU.
April 2013: Evidence of the use of Sarin gas emerge / the Hezbollah helps the government retake parts of the country.
May 2013: Israel attacks Syria – the local is pledged to hold Iranian missiles to be delivered to Hezbollah / Crossfire at the Golan Heights / EU leaders don’t renove the weaponry embargo on Syria / Fragmentation of the secular and religious opposition.
June 2013: Prime Minister of the SNC and Opposition Forces quits after not managing to form an unified government, other takes his place / Rebels keep asking for help and weapons to fight against the Assad forces / Iraqi shiite militants start crossing the border in bigger numbers.
August 2013: UN inspectors arrive at Syria to investigate the use of chemical weapons / Discussion over an intervention in Syria intensifies / Fights among rebels: the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) kills the commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) / Al Qaeda affiliates fight against Kurds in the north / ISIS imposes a brutal regime in the regions under its command / 40,000 Syrian kurds flee to the Iraqi Kurdistan.
September 2013: Syria agrees to a Russian proposal of destroying its chemical weapons arsenal / Syrian minister of Foreign Affairs, in a speech at the UN General Assembly, states that Syria is not at a civil war, but a war against terror / UN inspector concludes chemical weapons were used, but doesn’t appoint its source / Accusations exchange over the authorship of the chemical attacks.
October 2013: Security Council approves a resolution demanding the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons arsenal / The arsenal starts to be dismantled / Fight between rebels continues / Syrian National Coalition tries to form a transition government.
November 2013: Second peace conference between government and several opposition groups is appointed for the end of January / Disagreement between coalition members over requirements to partake in negotiations.
December 2013: US and England suspend “non-lethal” help to rebels after the news of islamic rebels took over FSA’s bases / In order to contain ISIS, other rebels groups merge into the “Islamic Front”.
January 2014: The peace conference, Geneva II, does not advance / SNC still refuses to negotiate with the government / Syrian government imposes siege and drops “barrel bombs” in areas controlled by rebels / Fight bewteen ISIS and the Islamic Front intensifies (1,400 deaths between Jan 1st- Jan 23th).
February 2014: Secon round of negotiations in Geneva fails / After failure of the diplomatic way, Saudi Arabia supposedly prepares raise in weaponry support to southern rebels / Elimination of chemical weapons goes slowly, out of deadline / Highest number of deaths per day since the beginning of the war / UNSC resolution raises humanitarian aid and condemns all terrorist attacks perpetrated by Al Qaeda affiliated groups.