Timeline of the Syrian Civil War (May–December 2013)
|Syrian Civil War|
|Part of the Arab Spring
and spillover of the Iraqi insurgency
Clockwise from top left: Destroyed vehicles in Aleppo; refugee camp on the Turkish border; artillery firing on Homs; victims of the Ghouta chemical attack. (For a war map of the current situation, see here)
Allied armed groups:
(For other forms of foreign support, see here)
(For other forms of foreign support, see here)
Allied armed groups:
(For more on Kurdish involvement, see here)
|Commanders and leaders|
|Syrian Armed Forces: 178,000–250,000
National Defence Force: 80,000
|Free Syrian Army: 40,000–50,000
Islamic Front: 40,000–70,000
Asala wa al-Tanmiya Front: 13,000
Al-Nusra Front: 5,000–6,000
|Popular Protection Units (YPG): 10,000–35,000 fighters
Jabhat al-Akrad: 7,000
|Casualties and losses|
40,438–75,000 soldiers and policemen killed
|49,699–115,000 (16,855 foreign) fighters killed*||597 fighters killed (see here)|
58,805–74,143 (2,680 foreign) civilian deaths documented by opposition
52 other foreign soldiers killed
180,215 deaths overall documented by the pro-opposition SOHR**
refugees (by November 2013)
- 1 Timeline
- 1.1 May 2013
- 1.1.1 1 May
- 1.1.2 3 May
- 1.1.3 4 May
- 1.1.4 5 May
- 1.1.5 8 May
- 1.1.6 9 May
- 1.1.7 10 May
- 1.1.8 11 May
- 1.1.9 12 May
- 1.1.10 13 May
- 1.1.11 15 May
- 1.1.12 16 May
- 1.1.13 17 May
- 1.1.14 18 May
- 1.1.15 19 May
- 1.1.16 20 May
- 1.1.17 22 May
- 1.1.18 23 May
- 1.1.19 26 May
- 1.1.20 27 May
- 1.1.21 28 May
- 1.1.22 29 May
- 1.1.23 30 May
- 1.1.24 31 May
- 1.2 June 2013
- 1.3 July 2013
- 1.4 August 2013
- 1.5 September 2013
- 1.6 October 2013
- 1.7 November 2013
- 1.8 December 2013
- 1.1 May 2013
- 2 References
Rosaviation has ordered that Russian civilian flights cease flying over Syrian airspace.
Rebels continued their siege on Meng airbase. It was claimed that rebels had killed the base commander in clashes, and also seized the second military detachment of the base. Rebels claimed that a group of pilots defected and assassinated the base's commanding officer. The defected pilots told rebels that around 200 soldiers remained in the base, garrisoned in the headquarters building supported by a handful of tanks. Many soldiers resorted to sleeping under tanks, fearing a rebel assault.
The Syrian government is reported to have blacked out all internet traffic into and out of Syria. Syria "has largely disappeared from the Internet". A similar event took place in November of last year.
Syrian Internet services were restored after a 19 hour blackout.
3 Lebanese nationals were killed in fighting in Syria, a further 36 have been reported missing. How they were killed and whom they were fighting for remains unclear.
Rebel fighters managed to cut off the strategic road to Halab al-Jadida, that was the main supply line for the Syrian army between Hama and Aleppo. This happened through taking over the 2 checkpoints of al-Qebtein and Um Amud.
Rebels managed to cut a newly build desert road used as an Army supply route between central Syria and Aleppo's airport.
The Syrian army took control of Khirbet Ghazaleh, Daraa.
The Syrian army captured the towns of Western Dumayna, Haidariyeh and Esh al-Warwar, near Qusayr.
The United Nations updated their estimated death toll of the entire conflict to 80,000.
The Syrian army repelled a large rebel assault on an Aleppo prison. The attack was aimed at disloging government forces and freeing an estimated 4,000 political prisoners are being held there, however the rebels were forced to retreat after airstrikes caused casualties among their ranks. Rebels blew open the prison's main-gate, and took control of a building.
Rebels besieged the 52 Brigade in Daraa. Rebels also claimed they recaptured the town of Qaysa, Rif Damascus, after launching a unified counter-offensive. Rebels also launched an attack on the Brigade 52 base in Daraa province.
By the end of the day 110 people were reported killed by the Syrian army with 60 were reported killed in Damascus and its suburbs.
The Russian navy has expanded their use of their naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus. Previously Russian ships only periodically visited the port, however in the last three months an average 10-15 ships have been reported as having been positioned near the port "at all times".
Rebels captured four villages in Eastern Hama, including the Alawite town of Tulaysiah. The villages were abandoned by its residents days before the rebels arrived.
The Human Rights Watch released a report about the government's mass-torture centers in Raqqa, which were previously accessible until Rebels captured the city.
Rebels took control of the villages of al-Tleysiya, al-Zughba, al-She'ta and Balil in East Hama.
The father of Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has been kidnapped, based on past tactics, by rebel forces his home in Ghossom. In the Syrian-Lebanese border town of Qusayr rebels claimed to have killed at least 10 Hezbollah fighters in an ambush.
Elite Hezbollah reinforcements were sent from Lebanon across the border to al-Qusayr. Activists reported that much of the town had been destroyed by this point.
A former government scientist claims that the Syrian government is using diluted chemical weapons, such as with alcohol, on rebels to slow their advance while reducing the number of casualties, leaving open the question as to whether it was military grade tear gas or nerve gas that was used in these attacks thus avoiding the U.S. "red line" on chemical weapons. Amongst the areas were the weapon were alleged to be used are certain suburbs of Damascus, Aleppo’s Sheikh Maksoud district, Saraqeb and Homs. The scientist, who worked for Centre for Scientific Studies and Research, claims that the alleged gas attack on Khan al-Assa, Aleppo, on 19 March 2013, was likely tear gas and not nerve gas.
On 26 May 2013, two rockets hit a Hezbollah area of Beirut injuring five people whilst another two rockets caused property damage to buildings in the al-Hermel district of Beirut. Syrian rebels have been blamed for the attack as they had promised to attack Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in retaliation for their helping the Syrian army particularly in the border town of Al-Qusayr. Syrian rebels have also shelled al-Hermel previously.
LCC reported 161 people killed that day, including 12 women, 8 children, and 5 under torture. 53 were killed in the Latakia province.
A Syrian army general in March asked Rosoboronexport for a quote on a large number of military items "in the shortest possible time." These items included 20,000 Ak-47s, night vision equipment, 40mm grenade launchers and some 15,000,000 rounds of AK-47 ammunition. In relation to arms sales to the Assad government Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated that Russian arms, such as the S-300 surface to air missile, may actually "help restrain some ‘hotheads’ considering a scenario to give an international dimension to this conflict,"
The Syrian army attacked a convoy trying to remove injured people from the town[which?], killing at least 7. Local people report that 15,000 civilians remained trapped in the town with food and water running low. Civilians had to wait 3-4 days for drinking water.
LCC reports of 163 people killed by the Syrian army, including 66 in Aleppo, mostly in a prison massacre.
US Government confirms that government forces used chemical weapons in Syria killing up to 150 people and announces increased "military support" to rebels as well as considering a limited no fly zone.
The Syrian Army captured the rebel stronghold town of Talkalakh. Following the assault, 39 local leaders of the Free Syrian Army surrendered and handed over their weapons. The Syrian opposition denied the town had fallen and claimed there was still fighting ongoing however reporters on the ground said there was no sign of it.
Abu Bassir Al Ladkani, a top commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), was assassinated. The assassination was carried out by al Qaeda-linked militants.
Islamist rebels kill at least 200 people during a three-day assault on Alawite villages in Latakia province. According to a local cleric, at least 100 of the victims were civilians, most of them women and children. A catholic nun said thet the number of civilian casualties could be as high as 400-500 and many of them were mutilated, beheaded or dismembered alive. Also, kidnapping of other 150 civilians has been reported.
Syrian rebels captured the Menagh Military Airport, situated on the road between Aleppo and the Turkish city of Gaziantep, after a one-year long siege. This capture marks an important symbolic victory for the opposition, following a string of defeats to President Assad's forces in central Syria and it consolidates the rebels' hold on a key supply route north of Aleppo.
Syrian activists reported that Assad forces struck Jobar, Zamalka, 'Ain Tirma, and Hazzah in the Eastern Ghouta region with chemical weapons. Activists at the Syrian Revolutionary Command Council said that at least 635 were killed in a nerve gas attack. Unverified videos uploaded showed the victims, many of who were convulsing, as well as several dozen bodies lined up. Other sources reported a figure of 213 in a poisonous gas attack. The SNC chief said that the overall death toll stood at an estimated 1300, as only a fraction of the bodies could be collected and many died within their own homes.
The United Kingdom and the United States deployed ships near Syria amidst a United Nations investigation concerning allegations that Syrian president al-Assad used chemical weapons against civilians. The following ships were deployed: HMS Bulwark, HMS Illustrious, USS Barry, USS Gravely, USS Mahan, and USS Ramage. The rebels in Syria also captured the village of Khanasir. It was the last key government supply route for the government forces in Aleppo.
British Parliament had decided not to take action in Syria. David Cameron had supported military actions in Syria, but the majority vote was 'no'. Cameron said he respects the vote. French Parliament is still deciding whether to take military action. The United States deployed their fifth warship, the USS Stout, to the Mediterranean.
President of the United States Barack Obama gave a speech in the White House rose garden in which he announced that he would seek authorization from Congress before using American military forces to intervene in the Syrian civil war. In the speech, he announced that he was "prepared to give that order," referring to ordering a strike on Syria. Obama argued that it was necessary to intervene because the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria "risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemicals weapons" and that it put U.S. regional allies that share a border with Syria in danger.
Israel launches two missiles to test its advanced defence system. The launch has been detected by multiple Russian warships in the area. The naval battle group led by USS Nimitz (CV-68) is deployed in the area, while USS Mahan (DDG-72) is retired and reaches its homeport in Norfolk, Virginia. It was reported that Pro-Syrian government forces have retaken the town of Ariha, after losing it a week before.
In response to the speech given by President Obama on 31 August, the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Government of Syria to Respond to Use of Chemical Weapons (S.J.Res 21). If the bill passes, it would allow the president to take direct action for up to 90 days; it specifically forbids putting "boots on the ground." The bill still needs to be approved by the full United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives before it would become law and thereby authorize US military intervention into the Syrian civil war.
At the same time, the number of Syrian refugees in Europe is constantly growing.
Syrian Army took back control of Khanasir.
The government took full control of the town of Buweida in the Damascus Suburbs.
Major General Jamaa Jamaa, Syrian General and head of the Military Intelligence in Deir Ezzour, was killed in the Reshdiya neighbourhood of Deir ez-Zour.
Syrian Army captures the village of Aziziyeh on the northern outskirts of Safira.
On 7 November, the Syrian army backed by Hezbollah, Al-Abbas brigade and the National Defense Force retook the key town of Al-Sabinah, south of Damascus. According to an opposition activist, military "progress on the ground without a doubt, because the regions were besieged for too long. This is normal." Abdel Rahman also blamed "divisions within the rebels." 
The Syrian army take full control of al-Nabk.
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- Wood, Josh (6 February 2013). "Syria's Kurds try to balance security and alliances". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
- Saeed Kamali Dehghan (28 May 2012). "Syrian army being aided by Iranian forces". The Guardian.
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- Filkins, Dexter. "Qassem Suleimani, the Middle East's Most Powerful Operative". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2014-01-06.
- Iran boosts support to Syria, Telegraph, 21 Feb 2014
- "Lebanon dragged in as Hezbollah joins Syria war". Reuters. 26 April 2013.
- "Syrian war widens Sunni-Shia schism as foreign jihadis join fight for shrines". The Guardian. 4 June 2013.
- "Syria rebels clash with army, Palestinian fighters". Agence France-Presse. 31 October 2012.
- Richard Galpin (10 January 2012). "Russian arms shipments bolster Syria's embattled Assad". BBC News. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- "Russian military presence in Syria poses challenge to US-led intervention". The Guardian, 23 December 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- "It looks like Iraq has joined Assad's side in the Syrian war". Business Insider. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- Six Islamist factions unite in largest Syria rebel merger
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- "Pushing Back Against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: The Syria Revolutionaries' Front and the Mujahideen Army". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
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- Reports: Bombing Kills Head of Syrian Rebel Group
- Top Syrian rebel commander dies from wounds (Reuters), 18 November 2013
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- From Qusair to Yabrud: Shiite foreign fighters in Syria
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- Shiite Militias Decamping From Syria to Fight in Iraq
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- Front to Back
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- "Kurdish militia has 35,000 fighters: spokesman". The Daily Star. 27 December 2013.
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- With SOHR already stating that the number of government and rebel fatalities is evenly divided and an upper estimate of pro-government fatalities to be 115,000, a higher figure of rebels killed can be estimated to be 115,000 as well. This would be in line with SOHR's estimate that the number of combatant dead being double the documented number.
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- "Syrian Refugees in Lebanon," The New York Times, September 5, 2013: UN says: 6.5 million displaced, of whom 2 million fled out of the country
- "Syria: A full-scale displacement and humanitarian crisis with no solutions in sight"., iDMC, Sep 2013: 5.1 million internally displaced ("forced to flee their homes because their lives were at danger, but did not cross international borders")
- "Dispatch: Syria's Internally Displaced Depend on Handouts"., UN, Feb 2013: 2.5 million internally displaced
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- Russia bans flights over Syria after airliner targeted by missiles 1 May 2013
- Israel Bombs Syria as the U.S. Weighs Its Own Options 4 May 2013
- Syrian rebels enter northern air base 5 May 2013
- Battlefield Update: The Fight for Isolated Government Outposts in Northern Syria 15 May 2013
- Syria: Israeli rockets pummel Damascus area 5 May 2013
- Syria says Israel strikes near Damascus 5 May 2013
- President Assad says he can face Israel as Syria loses access to internet 8 May 2013
- Syrian internet back after 19-hour blackout 8 May 2013
- Manila seeks Golan Heights peacekeeper pullout after abductions 10 May 2013
- 3 Lebanese fighters killed in Syria, 36 others missing 10 May 2013
- Syrian rebels cut major desert road linking the country's 2 largest cities
- Syrian troops retake strategic town 13 May 2013
- Turkey says bombing suspects are linked to Syria 13 May 2013
- Abandoned arms as Syria rebels pull back near Qusayr 13 May 2013
- Turkish F-16 fighter crashes near Syria, killing pilot 13 May 2013
- Syria death toll at least 80,000, says U.N. General Assembly president 15 May 2013
- Syrian rebels, regime troops battle inside Aleppo prison 16 May 2013
- Syrian rebels launch offensive in south to reverse losses 16 May 2013
- Syria Today: Obama & Erdogan Call for Assad to Go --- But Will They Do Anything? 17 May 2013
- Russia boosts fleet off Syria 18 May 2013
- Syria rebels seize Alawite villages in Hama 18 May 2013
- Syria: HRW, evidence of regime torturing prisoners in Raqqa 17 May 2013
- Father of Assad spokesman Mekdad kidnapped in Syria 18 May 2013
- Hezbollah fighters head to strategic Aleppo town as fighting rages 19 May 2013
- Syria conflict: Fierce battle for key town of Qusair 20 May 2013
- Israeli troops in Golan return Syria fire 21 May 2013
- Hezbollah sends new fighters to bloody Syria battle
- US Senate panel backs arming Syrian rebels 22 May 2013
- Syria Live Blog 22 May 2013
- Insider sheds light on Syria's chemical arms 23 May 2013
- Rockets strike Beirut suburb as sectarian strife flares in Lebanon, Syria 26 May 2013
- Two rockets hit Beirut's southern suburbs 26 May 2013
- Syrian opposition in chaos 27 May 2013
- 11 killed as Syria rebels, Kurds clash 26 May 2013
- Lebanon says it was hit by rockets launched from Syria 29 May 2013
- Opposition forces block Hezbollah from entering Darya: 161 killed in Syria as FSA rebels claim crucial breakthrough 31 May 2013
- Russia sends arms to Syria as it tries to reassert its role in region 30 May 2013
- Syrian troops attack convoy evacuating wounded people: activists 31 May 2013
- Hezbollah Sends Fighters To Qusayr From Lebanon 31 May 2013
- Syria's Assad warns Israel on air strikes
- Kerry: Russia plan to sell Syria missiles has 'profoundly negative impact' – as it happened 31 May 2013
- At least 14 killed in double suicide attack in Damascus 12 June 2013
- Syrian helicopter fires on Lebanese town, two wounded 12 June 2013
- White House: Syria chemical weapons kill up to 150 13 June 2013
- Russia Condemns US Move To Arm Syria Rebels 14 June 2013
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- Abu Bassir Al Ladkani Dead: Assassination Of Syrian Rebel Commander Means War With Foreign Fighters, Rebels Say 12 July 2013
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- Syrian forces capture town near chemical weapons site: Activists
- Air raids on rebel areas near Damascus, Kurds advance: NGO
- Aidée par le Hezbollah, l'armée syrienne reprend une cité clé près de Damas - L'Orient-Le Jour
- Assad's forces advance in northern Syria towards Aleppo | Reuters