Chronology: Syria

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See also Lebanon, Qatar, Turkey

Apr. 16: The six-member advance party from the UN peacekeeping mission arrived in Damascus to begin initial contact with the Syrian government and the opposition. Under UN Security Council Resolution 2042 passed on April 14, a team of up to 30 unarmed observers was approved to monitor the six-point peace plan negotiated by UN-Arab League envoy KofiAnnan. The resolution requested that the Syrian forces withdraw from cities on April 10, release all detainees, and provide aid to stricken areas. [BBC, 4/16]

Apr. 20: According to the activist network Local Coordination Committees, 36 people died across Syria, including three children, after Syrian security forces fired on protesters following Friday prayers. Areas where violence occurred included Homs, Idlib, Damascus, Aleppo, Douma, Qamishli, and Dera'a. More UN observers were dispatched to Syria to oversee the fragile ceasefire between the government and the protesters, which went into effect on April 12. [AJE, 4/20]

Apr. 21: The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a new resolution to increase the number of civilian ceasefire observers from 30 to 300. The expansion of the UN mission in Syria was requested by UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, following reports of more killings across the country. After negotiations with Russia, the new resolution referred to unspecified further actions if Syria failed to comply to the ceasefire plan, though no sanctions were laid out. [NYT, 4/21]

Apr. 24: Eighty people were killed by shelling in Hama and Idlib, according to the activist network Local Coordination Committees. Violence continued across Syria despite the expansion of the UN ceasefire mission and the presence of observers in flashpoint towns. Shelling and gunfire continued after UN monitors leftthe Arba'in and Masha'a al-Arba'in Districts north of Hama, where 33 people were killed. Witnesses also reported explosions in Baba 'Amr and Inshaat neighborhoods near Homs. [NYT, 4/23]

Apr. 26: An explosion destroyed a building in the restive city of Hama, claiming 69 lives, including 13 children and 16 women. According to the activist network Local Coordination Committees, security forces fired rockets at the building in Masha'a Atayar, an impoverished neighborhood in Hama where refugees from Homs had taken up residence since the uprising. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the cause of the blast was yet to be determined. [NYT, 4/26]

Apr. 28: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced the appointment of Norwegian general Robert Mood to lead the UN mission in Syria. The statement followed reports of the suicide attack on April 27 that took place opposite the Zayn al-Abidin Mosque in al-Midan suburb, south of the capital. The bombing killed nine people and injured dozens of others as worshippers took to the streets for anti-regime marches following Friday prayers. [AJE 4/27]

Apr. 30: Two explosions rocked the northwestern city of Idlib, killing more than 20 people. The state news agency SANA accused "armed terrorists" of staging the attack. One blast tore offthe front of an air force intelligence building while the other exploded near a military security building. [AJE, 4/30]

May 2: Five people were killed after Syrian security forces stormed an anti-government demonstration in the al-Atareb neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria's largest city. Separately, 15 Syrian troops were killed in an ambush by rebel forces. The activist networks Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Local Coordination Committees reported that pro-government forces killed as many as 45 civilians across Syria on May 1, as heavy gunfire near the Turkish border continued in the northwest province of Idlib. [Reuters, 5/1]

May 7: Syria held its first multiparty parliamentary elections in five decades despite growing bloodshed across the country. Rebel-held areas in Syria boycotted the elections, and the UN said that voting could not be successful with the backdrop of violence. …