Battleground Syria: A look at the country's bloodied past

Kathakali Chanda
Published: May 30, 2018 06:10:13 PM IST
Updated: May 30, 2018 06:48:31 PM IST

I've been a journalist for over a decade, working across newspapers and magazines. At Forbes India, I write and edit stories on varied themes. I am a sports buff — turning to the back pages of the newspaper first— and keenly follow current affairs, pop culture and new trends at the intersection of politics, business and culture. Being an inveterate foodie, I often end up writing about it.

Israel and Iran have been fighting a shadow battle in Syria, escalating tensions in a country ravaged by the ISIS and a seven-year ongoing civil war. According to UNHCR, over 5.6 million Syrians have fled since 2011. Here’s a look at Syria’s bloodied past.

Image: Asmaa Waguih / Reuters
Army fires on protesters in Deraa, in March, against the arrest of teens who painted anti-regime graffiti. Over the next few months, peaceful protests turn into violent uprisings.

Bombing of Homs and other cities stepped up in February. In July, Red Cross calls situation a state of civil war; human rights watchdogs believe about 50,000 dead by 2012-end.

g_106237_airstrike_280x210.jpgImage: Khalil Ashawi / Reuters
Sarin attack in Damascus kills hundreds in August; the UN calls it the worst chemical attack in 25 years.

Early in the year, ISIS takes over areas of neighbouring Iraq, moves into eastern Syria and captures Raqqa. In September, the US leads air campaign targeting ISIS.

g_106239_syrians_280x210.jpgImage: Ammar Abdullah / Reuters
Russia launches airstrikes against “all terrorists” in September; over 55,000 Syrians killed in the year till December 2016; army regains control of Homs, Palmyra and Aleppo.

Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by US drive ISIS out of Raqqa in October, its de-facto capital.

Suspected toxic gas attack on suburbs of Douma, kills over 40 and injures over 500 on April 7. On April 14, US, UK and France bomb chemical facilities.

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(This story appears in the 08 June, 2018 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from To visit our Archives, click here.)

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