Timeline: Crackdown on protests in Syria

For over ten months, Syrians have been gathering en-mass to protest against President Bashar Assad's rule.

Syrian anti-Assad protest 311 R (photo credit: REUTERS)
Syrian anti-Assad protest 311 R
(photo credit: REUTERS)
March 16, 2011 - Security forces break up gathering in Damascus square of 150 protesters holding pictures of imprisoned relatives.
March 29 - Syrian government resigns.
April 3 - President Bashar Assad asks Adel Safar, a former agriculture minister, to form new government.
April 19 - Government passes bill lifting emergency rule.
April 22 - Security forces and gunmen loyal to Assad kill at least 100 protesters, rights group says.
May 23 - European Union imposes sanctions on Assad and nine other senior members of Syrian government.
June 20 - In his third speech since protests began, Assad pledges to pursue a national dialogue on reform.
June 27 - Syrian intellectuals, at rare conference allowed by the authorities, call for sweeping political change
July 8 - Thousands rally in Hama calling for Assad to go; US Ambassador Robert Ford and French Ambassador Eric Chevallier visit city to show support for protesters.
July 31 - Syrian tanks storm Hama, residents say, after besieging it for nearly a month. At least 80 people are killed.
Aug. 7 - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah recalls his ambassador from Syria. Kuwait recalls its ambassador the next day.
Sept. 2 - The European Union imposes ban on purchases of Syrian oil and warns of further steps unless crackdown ends.
Sept. 15 - Syrian opposition activists announce members of Syrian National Council to provide alternative to government.
Oct. 4 - Russia and China veto European-drafted UN Security Council resolution condemning Syria.
Nov. 2 - Assad agrees in principle to Arab League plan to withdraw his army from cities and hold talks with opposition. Next day, activists say security forces kill 11 people in Homs.
Nov. 12 - Arab League suspends Syria.
Nov. 16 - Army defectors attack Air Force Intelligence complex on the edge of Damascus.
Nov. 27 - Arab states vote to impose economic sanctions on Syria.
Nov. 30 - Turkey says it has suspended all financial credit dealings with Syria and frozen Syrian government assets.
Dec. 5 - Syria says it has conditionally approved Arab League peace plan. Syria demands annulment of sanctions plus reinstatement in the regional bloc.
Dec. 7 - Assad denies ordering his troops to kill peaceful demonstrators, telling US television channel ABC that only a "crazy" leader kills his own people.
Dec. 13 - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay reports death toll from nine months of unrest in Syria has risen to more than 5,000.
Dec. 15 - Russia offers UN Security Council a new, stronger draft resolution on violence in Syria. Western envoys say Russian text needs toughening up and can negotiate.
Dec. 19 - Syria signs Arab League peace plan, agreeing to let observers into the country.
- UN General Assembly condemns Syria for its crackdown and human rights abuses, a vote that highlights Damascus' growing isolation at the world body.
Dec. 22 - British-based Avaaz rights group says it has collected evidence of more than 6,237 deaths of civilians and security forces, 617 of them under torture.
- Syria announces that more than 2,000 of its security forces have been killed in the unrest.
Dec. 23 - Twin suicide bombs target two security buildings in Damascus, killing 44 people. Syria says al-Qaida terrorists behind the attacks. Opposition members say they suspect the Assad government orchestrated the bombings itself.
Dec. 27 - At least 20,000 protesters gather in Homs as Arab League peace monitors say they see "nothing frightening" in an initial visit to Homs, but that a long investigation is needed.
Dec. 28 - Syrians in Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs refuse to meet Arab League monitors in presence of Syrian army officer, prompting the observers to leave, activists say.
- State TV says 755 people, detained over unrest, now free.
Dec. 30 - Emboldened by presence of Arab League monitors, hundreds of thousands of anti-Assad demonstrators fill the streets at least 10 people are killed, activists say.
Jan 1, 2012 - The Syrian National Council and the largely Syrian-based National Coordination Committee agree a road map to democracy should the uprising succeed in toppling Assad.
Jan. 3 - Colonel Riad Asaad, head of rebel Free Syrian Army, made up of army defectors, says he is dissatisfied with Arab monitors' progress in halting the crackdown and threatens to wait only days before escalating operations.
Jan. 5 - Syria says it has released 552 people detained over the period of the revolt.
Jan. 6 - A suicide bomber kills 26 people and wounds 63 in Damascus, Syria's interior minister Ibrahim Shaar says. He vows an "iron fist" response to the carnage.
Jan. 10 - Assad, in televised speech at Damascus university, says he will not stand down and his priority is to restore order in Syria, something that can only be achieved by "hitting terrorists with an iron fist."
- He welcomes the idea of expanding the government to include "all political forces" and expects a referendum on a new constitution to take place in March.