This timeline shows how the Syrian revolution was flared, and how the country splintered, foreign powers were drawn in, peace-making efforts failed, and Russia strongly helped Assad militia drive back opposition fighters. March 6, 2011 - Fifteen teenagers are arrested for writing "the people want the regime to fall" on walls across the city of Daraa. March 15, 2011 - Hundreds of people stage "Day of Rage" protests in Damascus and Aleppo, calling for democratic reforms. Protest in Damascus is violently dispersed. March 16, 2011 - Protest is held at Marjeh Square in Damascus, near the Interior Ministry, calling for release of political prisoners. Police arrest several of the protesters. In Daraa a protest is held in response to arrested teenagers. March 17- Demonstrations continue across Syria demanding release of the teenagers detained since 6 March and calling for democracy, greater political freedom and an end to corruption. In Daraa police open fire killing four people. March 20, 2011 - Protesters burn Daraa Baath Party headquarters, the towns main courthouse and a branch of the Syria Telephone company owned by Rami Makhlouf, Assad’s cousin. March 21, 2011 - To calm that situation, Bashar Assad orders the release of the teenagers detained since March 6 and removes provincial governor Faisal Kulthum from his office. Militias are sent to Daraa March 23, 2011 - In Daraa Syrian Army police confronted protesters gathered around the Omari mosque in the city centre, dispersing the crowd with tear gas and live ammunition. March 29, 2011 - Bashar Assad accepts his government’s resignation. Thousands of Syrians demonstrate in support of Assad. April 16, 2011 - A new Assad cabinet was sworn in. Assad addresses the cabinet in a televised speech. April 25-30 - Between April 25 and May 16, 2011, the Assad army attacks and occupies Daraa. The army reportedly deployed 20 or 30 tanks, between hundreds and 6,000 troops, snipers on roofs, and helicopters with paratroopers for a battle at the Omari Mosque on April 30. At least 244 civilians and 81 soldiers were killed. April 29, 2011 - Dubbed "Great Friday", anti-regime protests are held in at least 20 towns across Syria. Assad militias quelled the protests with live ammunition and tear gas. May 5 - Siege of Homs. About 100 tanks and troop transports converge on the town of Al-Rastan, after anti-regime protesters toppled a statue of the late Syrian president Hafez al-Assad and pledged to press ahead with their revolution despite sweeping arrests by Assad regime. May 7 - Military siege of Baniyas begins May 8  - Military siege of Tefas May 11, 2011 - Tanks are sent into Homs and shelling begins June 14, 2011 - For the first time, the Arab League condemns Assad regime’s crackdown and repression June 16, 2011 - UN Chief Ban Ki-moon condemns the violent crackdown on protesters June 20, 2011 - In an hour-long noon address, Assad blames "vandals", "radical and blasphemous individuals", and "foreign conspiracies" for the unrest, but also admits that some of the demands of protesters are legitimate. June 21, 2011 -The Assad regime encourages all members of the Baath party to host pro-Assad rallies. June 24, 2011 - For the first time, people in central Damascus begin protesting, and are immediately shot at outside the local mosque, killing 6. Approximately 15,000 people protest on the highway linking Damascus to Aleppo. July 2011 - Some protesters take up guns and military units defect as the uprising becomes an armed revolt that will gain support from Western and Arab countries and Turkey. July 11, 2011 - Supporters of Assad attack the embassies of France and the United States in Damascus.  August 3, 2011 - Following increased violence in the preceding days, the United Nations Security Council for the first time condemned the human rights violations against the Syrian protesters. August 4, 2011 - Assad issues a decree authorizing the formation of multiple political parties in Syria, as well as election reforms aimed at appeasing protesters June 2012 - World powers meet in Geneva and agree on the need for a political transition, but their divisions on how to achieve it will foil years of UN-sponsored peace efforts. July 2012 - Assad turns his air force on opposition strongholds, as opposition gain ground and the war escalates with massacres on both sides. April 2013 - Lebanon’s Hezbollah helps Assad to victory at Qusayr, a battle seen as halting opposition  momentum and demonstrating the Iran-backed group’s growing role in the conflict. August 2013 - Washington declares chemical weapons use a red line, but a gas attack on opposition-held eastern Ghouta kills hundreds of civilians on the 21 of August without triggering a US military response. May 2014 - Opposition in the Old City of Homs surrender, agreeing to move to an outer suburb - their first big defeat in a major urban area and a precursor to future "evacuation" deals. June 2014 - ISIS militants declare "caliphate" in territory from Aleppo to eastern Iraqi province of Diyala. September 2014 - Washington and five Arab countries build an anti-ISIS coalition and start air strikes, helping Kurdish forces turn the jihadist tide but creating friction with its ally Turkey. March 2015 - With better cooperation and more arms from abroad, opposition groups gain more ground and seize the northwestern city of Idlib.  September 2015 - Russia joins the war on Assad’s side, deploying warplanes and giving military aid that soon turns the course of conflict decisively against the opposition fighters. December 2015 - Homs, the Syria third largest city returns to Assad control after four years of conflict. Assad Army allows opposition to evacuate remaining area of Homs. March 2016 – Assad militias with Russian air assistance drive ISIS out of Palmyra, but are defeated again in the same area in December. August 2016 - Alarmed by Kurdish advances against ISIS along much of the border, Ankara launches an incursion with allied opposition, building a new zone of Turkish control. December 2016 - Aleppo is recaptured by Assad and Iranian militias, backed by Russian jets. April 2018 – Eastern Ghouta, people displaced by the Assad regime and its Russian allies.Assad regime recaptures Eastern Ghouta. May 2018 – Damascus countryside’s Qalamoun, Syrian displaced to the north by the Assad regime and its Russian allies.  August 2018, batches of IDPs are completed. Syrians are forced to leave to the north by the Assad regime and Russian troops.  September 2018, Russian president and Turkish president reach an agreement of de-escalation in Sochi to defuse the tensions as Assad regime and its allies were preparing to launch an offensive of the last major opposition stronghold in the north of Syria.