2010 February - US posts first ambassador to Syria after a five-year break.
2010 May - US renews sanctions against Syria, saying that it supports terrorist groups, seeks weapons of mass destruction and has provided Lebanon's Hezbollah with Scud missiles in violation of UN resolutions.
2011 March - Protests in Damascus and the southern city of Deraa demand the release of political prisoners. Security forces shoot a number of people dead
in Deraa, triggering days of violent unrest that steadily spread nationwide over the following months.
The Syrian government sent tanks into cities
in an attempt to quell pro-democracy protests
The government announces some conciliatory measures in an attempt to damp down unrest. . President Assad releases dozens of political prisoners and dismisses the government, and in April lifts the 48-year-old state of emergency. However, he accuses protesters of being Israeli agents.
2011 May - Army tanks enter Deraa, Banyas, Homs and suburbs of Damascus
in an effort to crush anti-regime protests. US and European Union tighten sanctions. President Assad announces amnesty for political prisoners.
2011 June - The government says that 120 members of the security forces have been killed by "armed gangs" in the northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughour. Troops besiege the town and more than 10,000 people flee to Turkey. President Assad pledges to start a "national dialogue" on reform.
2011 June - The IAEA nuclear watchdog decides to report Syria to the UN Security Council over its alleged covert nuclear programme reactor programme. The structure housing the alleged reactor was destroyed in an Israeli air raid in 2007.
2011 July - President Assad sacks the governor of the northern province of Hama after mass demonstration there, eventually sending in troops to restore order at the cost of scores of lives. Opposition activists meet in Istanbul to form a unified opposition.
2011 October - Newly formed Syrian National Council says it has forged a common front of internal and exiled opposition activists. Russia and China veto UN resolution condemning Syria.
2011 November - Arab League votes to suspend Syria, accusing it of failing to implement an Arab peace plan, and imposes sanctions. Army defectors target a military base near Damascus in the Free Syrian Army's most high-profile attack since protests began. Government supporters attack foreign embassies.
2011 December - Syria agrees to an Arab League initiative allowing Arab observers into the country. Thousand of protesters gather in Homs to greet them, but the League suspends its mission in January because of worsening violence.
Twin suicide bombs outside security buildings in Damascus kill 44, the first in a series of large blasts in the the capital that continue into the following summer. Opposition accuses government of staging these and subsequent attacks.
2012 February - Russia and China block a UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria, and the government steps up the bombardment of Homs and other cities, recapturing the Homs district of Baba Amr the following month. The UN says that more than 7,500 people have died since the security crackdown began.
2012 March - UN Security Council endorses non-binding peace plan drafted by UN envoy Kofi Annan. China and Russia agree to support the plan after an earlier, tougher draft is modified. The UN statement falls short of a formal resolution, and violence continues into the summer.
2012 May - UN Security Council strongly condemns the government's use of heavy weaponry and the militia killing of more than a hundred civilians in Houla, near Homs. France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada and Australia expel senior Syrian diplomats in protest.
2012 June - President Assad tells his reshuffled government that they face "real war", indicating the authorities' conviction that the conflict will be long-lasting and require the sidelining of all other priorities.
Turkey changes rules of engagement after Syria shoots down a Turkish plane that strayed into its territory, declaring that if Syrian troops approach Turkey's borders they will be seen as a military threat.
2012 July - Free Syria Army blows up three security chiefs in Damascus and seizes Aleppo in the north. A government offensive to recapture the city makes only limited headway.
2012 August - The government suffers further blows. A UN General Assembly resolution demands that President Assad resign, high-level defections gather pace - most notably Prime Minister Riad Hijab - and US President Obama warns that use of chemical weapons would tilt the US towards intervention.
UN appoints veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi as new UN-Arab League envoy for Syria after resignation of Kofi Annan.
2012 September - The Free Syrian Army claims responsibility for two explosions at the military headquarters in Damascus. The government says four guards were killed in the "suicide attacks".
2012 October - Syria-Turkish tension rises when Syrian mortar fire on a Turkish border town kills five civilians. Turkey returns fire and intercepts a Syrian plane allegedly carrying arms from Russia. Both countries ban each other's planes from their air space.
Fire in Aleppo destroys much of the historic market as fighting and bomb attacks continue in various cities.
UN-brokered ceasefire during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha breaks down as government continues attacks.
2012 November - Several major opposition forces unite as National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces at meeting in Qatar, including the Syrian National Council. Arab League stops short of full recognition, and France is the only country to recognize the Coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Islamist militias in Aleppo, including the Al-Nusra and Al-Tawhid groups, refuse to join the Coalition, denouncing it as a "conspiracy".
Syrian Arab Red Crescent estimates 2.5 million people have been displaced within Syria, double the previous estimate. UN dubs latest figure "conservative".
Israeli military fire on Syrian artillery units after several months of occasional shelling from Syrian positions across the Golan Heights, the first such return of fire since the Yom Kippur War of 1973.