March - "Day of Dignity" protest held in Damascus demanding release of political prisoners. Some 35 people are arrested. At a "Day of Rage" rally in the southern city of Deraa, security forces shoot a number of people dead, triggering days of violent unrest and more civilian deaths.
The government announces some conciliatory measures and releases dozens of political prisoners in an attempt to damp down the unrest. President Assad dismisses government, accuses protesters of being Israeli agents.
April - State of emergency - in force since 1963 - is lifted.
May - Army tanks enter Deraa, Banyas, Homs and suburbs of Damascus in an effort to crush anti-regime protests.
US tightens sanctions in response to bloody crackdown on protests. European Union follows suit days later.
President Assad announces amnesty for political prisoners.
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.
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.
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.
Dozens of opposition activists meet in Istanbul to form a unified opposition.
August - European Union announces further sanctions over the repression of protests.
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.
November - Arab League votes to suspend Syria, accusing it of failing to implement an Arab peace plan. Weeks later the League votes to impose sanctions.
Army defectors attack a military base near Damascus in the Free Syrian Army's most high-profile attack since protests began.