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100000 BC
Hunters stalked giant camels in the Syrian desert about this time. Bones of the “Syrian Camel,” as tall as some modern-day elephants, were discovered 150 miles north of Damascus in 2005.
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3600 BC
1000 BC
The Mesopotamian settlement of Nagar (in northeastern Syria) grew to become one of the first large cities of the Middle East. It began before 6,000BC and continued to about 1000BC.
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2400 BC
The Mesopotamian city of Nagar (in northeastern Syria) became the powerful state of Nagar about this time.
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2300 BC
Akkadian armies conquered Nagar about this time.
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2291 BC
2254 BC
Naram-Sin ruled Akkad. He defeated a rebel coalition in Sumer and re-established Akkadian power. He re-conquered Syria, Lebanon, and the Taurus mountains, destroying Aleppo and Mari in the process. During his reign the Gutians sacked the city of Agade and eventually destroyed all of Sumer (southern Iraq). During his reign Naram-Sin campaigned against the region of Magan (Oman).
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1458 BC
In Egypt Queen Hatshepsut, mother of Tuthmosis III, died. Tuthmosis III, in his early thirties, declared war on the Prince of the Syrian city of Kadesh, who had organized a confederacy in Palestine and Syria. Tuthmosis defeated the Syrians following an 8 month siege of Megiddo. In 2007 Egyptian archaeologists said the mummy of an obese woman, who likely suffered from diabetes and liver cancer, has been identified as that of Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt's most powerful female pharaoh. Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt in the 15th century B.C., was known for dressing like a man and wearing a false beard. But when her rule ended, all traces of her mysteriously disappeared, including her mummy. Discovered in 1903 in the Valley of the Kings, the mummy was left on site until 2007, when it was brought to the Cairo Museum for testing.
Links: Egypt, Syria, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
300 BC
Dura-Europos, a Greek colony was built on the Euphrates in eastern Syria.
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117 Aug 11
The Roman army of Syria hailed its legate, Hadrian, as emperor, which made the senate's formal acceptance an almost meaningless event. One of his first acts was to withdraw Rome’s army from Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).
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135
Roman Emperor Hadrian sent 12 divisions under Julius Severus to quell the Jewish rebellion led by Simon Bar Kokhba, who was killed at Bethar. An estimated 600,000 Jews were killed. Hadrian ordered Jerusalem plowed under and Aelia Capitolina was built on the site. He barred Jews from returning and survivors dispersed across the empire. Judea was renamed Syria-Palestina.
Links: Italy, Romans, Palestine, Syria, Jews     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
410
St. Maroun, founder of the Maronite Christians, died in Cyrrhus region of Syria. The Maronite movement reached Lebanon when St Maroun's first disciple Abraham of Cyrrhus, who was called the Apostle of Lebanon, realized that paganism was thriving in Lebanon, so he set out to convert the pagans to Christians by introducing them to the way of St Maroun.
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540
560
In Syria the monastery of St. Moses the Abyssinian (Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi) was built in the middle of the sixth century, and belonged to the Syrian Antiochian Rite. The site was abandoned after several hundred years, but was revived in the late 1980s by Italian Jesuit Paolo Dall’Oglio.
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628 Apr 3
In Persia, Kavadh sued for peace with the Byzantines. He handed back Armenia, Byzantine Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine and Egypt.
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632
661
The Rashidun Caliphate, also known as the Rightly Guided Caliphate, comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia in the east. It was the one of the largest empires in history up until that time.
Links: Azerbaijan, Qatar, UAR, Armenia, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Cyprus, Libya, Iran, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Sudan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Afghan, Tunisia, Islam     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
636 Aug 15
At the Battle at Yarmuk, east of the Sea of Galilee, Islamic forces beat a Byzantine army and gained control of Syria.
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661
Muawija became caliph. He moved the capital from Medina to Damascus. His followers were called the Umayyads. Muawija was one of the soldiers who helped capture Damascus and for 25 years he had served as governor of Syria. Muawija began the practice of appointing his own son as the next caliph, and so the Umayyads ruled for the next 90 years. Muslim forces expanded into North Africa and completely conquered Persia. The Islamic Empire continued to expand into Afghanistan and Pakistan. After the Omayyad Caliphs conquered Damascus, they build the palace at Qasr Al-Kharaneh (in Jordan) as a recreational lodge.
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683
Caliph Yazid died. He was the third Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate (and the first one through inheritance). Yazid was the Caliph as appointed by his father Muawiyah I and ruled for three years from 680 until his death in 683.
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697
The first Arab Islamic currency was struck in Damascus by the Umayyad ruler Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (697-698 A.D.)
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700
900
The Hadith, the main guide for Muslims in interpreting the Koran, were evaluated and gathered into large collections mostly during the reign of Umar ibn AbdulAziz during the 8th and 9th centuries.
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770
The Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Thomas (Mar Toma) was built in Mosul.
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1058
Al-Ma’arri (b.973), a blind Syrian philosopher, poet and writer, died. He attacked the dogmas of religion and rejected the claim that Islam or any other religion possessed the truths they claimed.
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1133
1193
Rashid Al-Din Sinan, also known as "The Old Man of the Mountain," was a leader of the Assassins. He used the Syrian Masyaf castle as a base for spreading the beliefs of the Nizari Ismaili sect of Islam to which he and his followers belonged.
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1144
In Syria the Knights Hospitallers began expanding a fortress 90 miles northwest of Damascus. It became known as The Crac des Chevaliers. The Mamelukes captured it in 1271 and converted the chapel into a mosque.
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1148 Jul 24
Crusaders, led by Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, attacked Damascus. It was a dismal failure and effectively ended the 2nd Crusade.
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1174
Nureddin, the ruler of Syria died. Saladin, the vizier of Egypt, married Nureddin’s widow and assumed control of both state. The Ayyubids under Saladin spent the next decade launching conquests throughout the region and by 1183, the territories under their control included Egypt, Syria, northern Mesopotamia, Hejaz, Yemen, and the North African coast up to the borders of modern-day Tunisia.
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1187 Jul 4
In the Battle of Hittin (Tiberias) Saladin defeated Reynaud of Chatillon. Salah al Din, who ruled from his imperial seat in ancient Syria, defeated Christian armies of the Crusaders and forced their retreat from the Holy Land. The battle was depicted in a mosaic that was found and restored for the palace of Pres, Hafez Assad of Syria. Saladin personally executed Crusader Reynaud of Chatillon (b.1124/5). Reynaud of Chatillon, Lord of Kerak, Jordan, had violated twice violated a tenuous truce and earlier this year attacked a caravan of pilgrims returning from Mecca.
Links: Syria, Jordan, Crusades     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1193 Mar 4
Saladin [Salah ed-Din]) Yusuf ibn Ayyub (52), Kurdish sultan of Egypt and Syria (1175-1193), died. Saladin led the Muslims against the Crusaders. He had reimposed Sunni orthodoxy in Egypt after routing the Fatimids, a dynasty of Ismaili Shias which had ruled for two centuries.
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1271
The Mamelukes under Sultan Baibars captured The Crac des Chevaliers in Syria and converted the chapel into a mosque. It had been held by the Knights Hospitallers since 1144.
Links: Turkey, Syria, Crusades     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1492
Jews began arriving in Morocco, Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world after their expulsion from Spain.
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1516 Aug 24
At the Battle of Marj Dabik, north of Aleppo, the Turks beat Syria. Suliman I (Selim the Grim), the Ottoman Sultan, routed the Mamelukes (Egypt) with the support of artillery capturing Aleppo and Damascus. This opened the way to 400 years of Ottoman Turkish rule over most of the Arab world.
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1757
The Greek Orthodox clergy wrested control of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Ottoman rulers declared a status quo for the holy sties of the city and control of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was split primarily among the Latin, Greek and Armenian patriarchates of Jerusalem and secondarily among the churches of Egypt, Syria and Ethiopia. This arrangement was formalized in 1852.
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1799 Feb 10
Napoleon Bonaparte left Cairo, Egypt, for Syria, at the head of 13,000 men.
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1840 Feb 5
In Damascus, Syria, Father Thomas, originally from Sardinia, and the superior of a Franciscan convent at Damascus, disappeared with his servant. 13 prominent Jews were falsely accused of the ritual murder of the Franciscan monk and his servant. The “Damascus Affair” inspired international protests. In 2004 Ronald Florence authored “Blood Libel: The Damascus Affair of 1840.”
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1860 Jul
Fighting in Lebanon spilled over into Damascus. With the connivance of the military authorities and Turkish soldiers, Muslim fanatics organized pogroms which lasted three days (July 9-11). 25,000 Christians were killed including the American and Dutch consuls. Churches and missionary schools were set on fire. Many Christians were saved through the intervention of the Muslim Algerian exile Abd al-Qadir and his soldiers.
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1860
France sent 5,000 troops to Syria to stop the massacre of Maronite Christians at the hands of the Druze, which the Ottoman authorities were neither willing nor able to stop.
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1876 Aug 19
George Smith (b.1840), British Assyriologist, died of dysentery in Syria. He was on his way home from a 3rd trip to Mesopotamia. Smith had completed the translation of the complete Epic of Gilgamesh in 1874.
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1880
Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine were part of Syria under Ottoman rule.
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1918 Oct 1
The main Arab force entered Damascus (Syria).
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1918
Arab Prince Faisal (1885-1933), aka Feisal, took control of Syria.
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1923 Jul 24
The Treaty of Lausanne, which settled the boundaries of modern Greece and Turkey, was concluded in Switzerland. It replaced the Treaty of Sevres and divided the lands inhabited by the Kurds between Turkey, Iraq and Syria. Article 39 allowed Turkish nationals to use any language they wished in commerce, public and private meetings, and publications. The treaty specifically protected the rights of the Armenian, Greek and Jewish communities. The former provinces of Baghdad, Basra and Mosul were lumped together to form Iraq. Both countries agreed to a massive exchange of religious minorities. Christians were deported from Turkey to Greece and Muslims from Greece to Turkey. A Muslim community of at least 100,000 was allowed in northern Greece. In 2006 Bruce Clark authored “Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions that Forged Modern Greece and Turkey.”
Links: Armenia, Iraq, Turkey, Switzerland, Syria, Jews, Kurds     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1937
The Alawite state, created under a French mandate, was incorporated into modern-day Syria. Under the French mandate, the Alawites had been granted an autonomous territory stretching in a band along the coast from the Lebanese border to the Turkish border.
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1943 Aug 18
Shukri Kouatly was elected president of Syria.
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1947 Dec 2
A Syrian mob burned a synagogue where the Aleppo Codex was hidden. This followed a UN resolution calling for the creation of Arab and Jewish states in Palestine Nearly two-thirds of the pages were retrieved by congregant, Mourad Faham. But 196 pages vanished, including books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah, as well as pages from other books.
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1949 Mar
In Syria a group of army officers staged a coup against elected Pres. Shukri Kouatly.
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1949 Aug 5
A bomb exploded at a synagogue in Damascus, Syria, killing 12 people.
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1958
Mourad Faham smuggled the Aleppo Codex out of Syria to Turkey and then to Jerusalem, where it was presented to the president of Israel. In 1982 the first missing page, from the Book of Chronicles, surfaced in New York and was sent to join rest of the manuscript. In 2007 another fragment, a piece from the Exodus story of the 10 plagues, was sent to Jerusalem. Sam Sabbagh, an Aleppo Jew living in New York, had carried it in wallet for decades as good luck charm.
Links: Turkey, Israel, Syria, Bible     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1962 Jun 23
The Syrian government conducted a special population census only for the province of Jazira which was predominantly Kurdish. As a result, around 120,000 Kurds in Jazira were arbitrarily categorized as aliens.
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1963 Mar
In Syria the pan-Arab Baath party staged a coup. Hafez Assad played an important role. Amin Hafez 1920-2009) was brought to power by the military coup only to be overthrown three years later.
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1963
The Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Syria following the Baath party coup.
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1965 May 18
Eli Cohen, who arrived in Syria in 1962, was hanged in a public square in Damascus for spying for Israel until his capture. As businessman Kamal Amin Thabit he worked his way into the upper echelons of Syrian government and society, feeding Israel with valuable political and military intelligence.
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1965
Hafez al-Assad became Syria's defense minister. He was a member of the Alawite clan, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Nearly 80% of Syrians are Sunnis.
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1965
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), a state media organization linked to the Ministry of Information, was established.
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1966 Mar 1
The Baath-party took power in Syria. Among the fighters who had a part in toppling Amin Hafez was Hafez Assad, who became president four years later and ruled Syria with an iron fist for three decades.
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1967 Jun 10
The Six-Day Middle East War ended as Israel and Syria agreed to observe a United Nations-mediated cease-fire. Israel took Gaza and the Sinai from Egypt, Old Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. In 2002 Michael B. Oren authored "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the making of the Modern Middle East." Israeli military historian Arieh Yitzhaki later said that his research showed Israeli troops killed 300 Egyptian prisoners of war. Israel said soldiers on both sides committed atrocities. In 2007 Tom Segev authored “1967: Israel, the War and the Year that Transformed the Middle East.”
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1969 Feb
Gen. Hafez al-Assad became head of Syria.
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1970 Nov 12
Hafez al-Assad (1930-2000), Syrian defense minister, had his opponents arrested and took full control of Syria.
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1970 Nov 27
Syria joined a pact linking Libya, Egypt and Sudan.
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1971 Jul 13
1971 Jul 19
Jordanian troops proceeded to wipe out Palestinian guerrillas; some 1,500 prisoners were brought to Amman; Iraq and Syria soon broke off relations with Jordan.
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1971 Aug 12
Syrian Pres Assad dropped diplomatic relations with Jordan.
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1973 Sep 13
Israel shot down 12 Syrian aircraft to1 Israeli loss when IAF jets were attacked during a reconnaissance mission over Syrian territory.
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1973 Oct 6
The fourth Arab-Israeli war in 25 years was fought. Israel was taken by surprise when Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan attacked on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, beginning the Yom Kippur War. Syria tried to regain the Golan Heights with a massive attack with 1,500 tanks. The assault, empowered by Russian equipment, was repulsed by air power.
Links: Egypt, Israel, Syria, Jordan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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