Timeline--Syria

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SYRIA INVOLVEMENT IN THE ARAB- ISRAELI CONFLICT:

1947: Syria was the training ground for hundred of combatants and volunteers who would later become the cadre of the Holy War Army that would go to Jerusalem under Abd al-Qadir Husseini in December after the UN partition plan.

1948: Syria (12,000 soldiers) along with the Arab armies coordinated the attack on the State of Israel in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War the day the state of Israel was proclaimed and explicitly stated the destruction of the newly-formed Jewish state as their goal.

1949: Syria signed armistices agreement with Israel on July 20th but they had an ongoing dispute about water and territorial rights along their 1949 cease-fire line.

1951: The Arab League established the Office of the Arab Boycott of Israel (OABI) based in Damascus, Syria in order to boycott companies that do business with Israel from operating in the Arab world. In its heyday, the Arab boycott office blacklisted more than 8,500 companies, including The Coca-Cola Company and Ford Motor Company.

1960: Syria began sponsoring guerilla raids into Israel in the early 1960s as part of it’s "people's war of liberation", designed to deflect domestic opposition to the Baath Party.

1967: On April 7, 1967, a minor border incident escalated into a full-scale aerial battle over the Golan Heights, resulting in the loss of six Syrian MiG-21s to Israeli Air Force (IAF) Dassault Mirage III, and the latter's flight over Damascus. Other border incidents in which Israel and Syria exchanged artillery; tank and aircraft fire increased the tensions along this front. The Israeli government was under heavy pressure to put an end to Syrian shelling of border villages.

-Syria was an active belligerent with a standing army of 75,000 soldiers in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The war resulted in Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights and the city of Quneitra an estimated 80,000 Syrians fled. The results of this war affect the geopolitics of the region to this day.

-On June 19, 1967, the National Unity Government [of Israel] voted unanimously to return the Golan Heights to Syria in return for peace agreements. The Golans would have to be demilitarized and special arrangement would be negotiated for the Straits of Tiran. The Israeli decision was to be conveyed to the Arab nations by the United States. The US was informed of the decision, but not that it was to transmit it. There is no evidence of receipt offer by Egypt or Syria, and some historians claim that they may have never received the offer.

1973: The fourth Arab-Israeli War broke out on Oct. 6, 1973, during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Syria strove to throw Israel off the Golan Heights, while Egypt swept deep into the Sinai with a joint surprise attack. The war had far-reaching implications for the Arab world, which had been humiliated by the lopsided defeat of the Egyptian-Syrian-Jordanian alliance during the Six-Day War, felt psychologically vindicated by its string of victories early in the conflict.

-Hafiz al-Assad, the head of Syria, had little interest in negotiation and felt the retaking of the Golan Heights would be a purely military option when Sadat of Egypt hoped that by inflicting even a limited defeat on the Israelis, the status quo could be altered. Since the Six-Day War, Assad had launched a massive military build up and hoped to make Syria the dominant military power of the Arab states. With the aid of Egypt, Assad felt that his new army could win convincingly against the Israeli army and thus secure Syria's role in the region. Assad only saw negotiations beginning once the Golan Heights had been retaken by force, which would induce Israel to give up the West Bank and Gaza, and make other concessions.

-The Israeli High Command gave priority fighting in the Golan Heights. The fighting in the Sinai was sufficiently far away that Israel was not immediately threatened; should the Golan Heights fall, the Syrians could easily advance into Israel proper.

-Following the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War, which left Israel in occupation of additional Syrian territory, Syria accepted UN Security Council Resolution 338, which signaled an implicit acceptance of Resolution 242. Resolution 242, which became the basis for the peace process negotiations begun in Madrid, calls for a just and lasting Middle East peace to include withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in 1967; termination of the state of belligerency; and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of all regional states and of their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.

1974: In May 1974, Syria and Israel concluded a disengagement agreement as a result of the mediation efforts of then U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. This agreement enabled Syria to recover territory lost in the October war and part of the Golan Heights occupied by Israel since 1967, including Quneitra. The two sides have effectively implemented the agreement, which is monitored by UN forces.

1975: Syrian Arab Republic, along with 25 other nations sponsored the UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 which equated Zionism with racism.

1976: President Hafez Al-Assad intervened in the Lebanese civil war on behalf of Maronite Christians.

1981: In December 1981, the Israeli Knesset voted to extend Israeli law to the part of the Golan Heights over which Israel retained control. The UN Security Council subsequently passed a resolution calling on Israel to rescind this measure.

1982: Syrian and Israeli forces clashed in eastern Lebanon after the Israelis invaded Lebanon in 1982. After attacking PLO, Syrian and Muslim Lebanese forces, Israel occupied southern Lebanon. The invasion is popularly held to be the major catalyst for the creation of the Iranian and Syrian supported Hezbollah organization, which replaced the vanquished PLO in Southern Lebanon.

1989: Syria actively participated in the March-September fighting between the Christian Lebanese Forces and Muslim forces allied with Syria. Syria later endorsed the Charter of National Reconciliation, or "Taif Accord," a comprehensive plan for ending the Lebanese conflict negotiated under the auspices of Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Morocco.

1987: The first intifadah marked the end of the Israelis referring to Palestinians as "South Syrians" and largely ended Israeli discussion of a "Jordanian solution". 1991: Syria participated in the Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid in October 1991. Negotiations were conducted intermittently through the 1990s, and came very close to succeeding. However, the parties were unable to come to an agreement over Syria's nonnegotiable demand that Israel withdraw to the positions it held on June 4, 1967. The peace process collapsed following the outbreak of the second Palestinian (Intifada) uprising in September 2000, though Syria continues to call for a comprehensive settlement based on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and the land-for-peace formula adopted at the 1991 Madrid conference.

2003: In October 2003, following a suicide bombing carried out by a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Haifa that killed 20 Israeli citizens, Israeli Defense Forces attacked a suspected Palestinian terrorist training camp 15 kilometers north of Damascus. This was the first such Israeli attack deep inside Syrian territory since the 1973 war. Syria announced it would respond diplomatically, and asked the UN Security Council to condemn the Israeli action. Tensions between Israel and Syria increased as the Intifada dragged on, primarily as a result of Syria's refusal to stop giving sanctuary to Palestinian terrorist groups conducting operations against Israel.

2006: War of words between Syria and Israel intensified after hostilities broke out between Israel and Hezbollah militia in Lebanon following the capture of two Israeli soldiers. Israel blames Syria and Iran for providing military equipment and Katyusha rockets to Hizballah which are used against Israel by the militia.

-On July 26 both Mr. Annan and Ms. Rice called for enforcement of the U.N. resolution to disarm Hezbollah, and said Syria and Iran have roles to play -Syrian President Bashar Assad told Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov that Syria was prepared to help promote a cease-fire in the Middle East, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

-Israeli Brig. Gen. Alon Friedman, a senior commander on the northern front, told Army Radio that Israel's current policy is not to attack Syria so long as Damascus doesn't get directly involved in the fighting. "Right now we don't have any intention, any thoughts of acting against Syria, unless Syria carries out some sort of act," Gen. Friedman said. "As long as Syria remains outside of these activities, we will keep the same policy that we have implemented until now."

On July 30th, Israel’s attack on a building in the Lebanese village of Qana that killed at least 54 civilians constitutes "state terrorism", Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Sunday. "The massacre committed by Israel in Qana this morning shows the barbarity of this aggressive entity. It constitutes state terrorism committed in front of the eyes and ears of the world," Assad said in remarks carried by state news agency SANA.




http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3283700,00.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_Syria

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suez_Crisis

http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/07/4ae2a98d-13b9-40eb-b3d8-3ba52d5fc35f.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Arab-Israeli_War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur_War

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB115306760246608000-LMxIre3y9B3tCyhGx1cTY1_twjw_20060822.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Israeli_invasion_of_Lebanon_1982

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Intifada

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Intifada

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UN_General_Assembly_Resolution_3379

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/ad2b2a3e-1c07-11db-a555-0000779e2340.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_David_Accords

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,19905085-5006029,00.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_League_and_the_Arab-Israeli_conflict

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oslo_accords

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