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Timeline of Syria unrest

04-10-2012 13:49 BJT Special Report:Crisis in Syria |

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In March, 2011, as anti-government demonstrations swept the Arab World, mass protests broke out in Syria. The resulting unrest and the government crackdown that followed have led to deaths in the hundreds, and by UN accounts, in the thousands.

In 2011 the Arab world was gripped by a wave of demonstrations, and Syria was no exception. The first public demonstrations can be traced back to January 26th 2011, but there remained sporadic and small scale outbreaks until mass protests finally erupted in Deraa on March the 15th.

Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Kafranbel, near
Idlib April 6, 2012. Picture taken April 6, 2012. REUTERS/Raad Al Fares/Shaam News

The situation quickly developed into a full-scale national conflict, with protesters demanding the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad and the overthrow of his government. On April 22nd, the country experienced its bloodiest day of the conflict so far.

As protests took place in the capital, Damascus, and in at least ten other cities in the country, at least 70 people were killed when security forces opened fire on the demonstrators.

On May the 19th, the US called on Syria to start what it called a "serious dialogue to advance to a democratic transition." Both the EU and the US made it clear they would impose sanctions on the Assad government, freezing any assets owned by Syrian officials and barring companies from dealing with them.

On August 18th, the governments of Canada, France, Germany, the UK, and the United States all called on Assad to resign for the first time, announcing even tougher political and economic sanctions.

On November the 2nd, in reaction to the violent government crackdown, the Arab League announced it would suspend Syria from the organization, effective November the 16th. The League promised new sanctions, while also urging member states to withdraw their ambassadors from Damascus.

On December the 19th, the Syrian government agreed to allow foreign observers from the Arab League to monitor Syria’s progress in removing troops from protest areas. One week later, 67 Arab League observers arrived in Syria to monitor a deal to protect civilians and to end the nine months of deadly violence.

But, on January the 28th, 2012, the Arab League suspended the mission due to "the critical deterioration of the situation" in Syria.

A Western-backed UN Security Council draft resolution was vetoed by Russia and China on February the 4th. The draft resolution pledged support for an Arab League peace plan and backed the league’s call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside.

On February 13th, the Arab League called on the UN for support in creating a new joint peacekeeping mission for Syria, and urged Arab states to sever all diplomatic contact with the Syrian government.

The UN and Arab League joint special envoy for Syria Kofi Annan, met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on March 10th, in a bid to push for end to the year-long vilence.

On April the 2nd, The UN Security Council agreed a presidential statement, calling on Syria to fulfill its pledge to withdraw troops and heavy weapons by April the 10th.

A week later, the Syrian Government announced that it would implement Kofi Annan’s six point plan and withdraw its military from flashpoint cities.

While diplomatic efforts to broker an end to the conflict have moved forward, it’s still unclear if a peaceful solution to Syria crisis can be reached.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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