Timeline of the Syrian Civil War (May–December 2013)
The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency ordered civilian flights to cease flying over Syrian airspace.
Alleged Bayda and Baniyas massacres commenced; according to a later U.N. report, between 300 and 450 civilians were killed in the two massacres by Syrian forces.
An attack in Rif Dimashq Governorate, when allegedly IAF bombed a suspected weapons site.
Rebels continued their siege on Meng airbase. It was claimed that rebels had killed the base commander in clashes, and also seized the second military detachment of the base. Rebels claimed that a group of pilots defected and assassinated the base's commanding officer. The defected pilots told rebels that around 200 soldiers remained in the base, garrisoned in the headquarters building supported by a handful of tanks. Many soldiers resorted to sleeping under tanks, fearing a rebel assault.
Planes, reportedly of Israeli origin, hit targets just outside Damascus.
The Syrian government is reported to have blacked out all internet traffic into and out of Syria. Syria "has largely disappeared from the Internet". A similar event took place in November of last year.
The Philippines is strongly considering withdrawing its 342 peacekeepers stationed in the Golan Heights after four of its peacekeepers were kidnapped by rebel forces.
Rebel fighters managed to cut off the strategic road to Halab al-Jadida, that was the main supply line for the Syrian army between Hama and Aleppo. This happened through taking over the 2 checkpoints of al-Qebtein and Um Amud.
An explosion in the Syrian-Turkish border town of Reyhanli killed 46 and wounded 155 Turkish citizens.
The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution (GA/11372) adopting a "Text Condemning Violence in Syria, Demanding That All Sides End Hostilities". The resolution passed the General Assembly by a vote of 107 in favor to 12 against, with 59 abstentions.
The twelve countries voting against the resolution were Belarus, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Iran, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Most of these countries, known in some circles as the "Gang of Twelve", are noteworthy for their current or past Communist or Communist influenced governments (in the case of Belarus, China, Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, Russia and Venezuela) and/or record of human rights violations (as in the case of Iran, Syria and Zimbabwe).
There has been, apparently, a conscious effort to suppress information regarding this resolution as it is difficult to find information concerning it on the Internet.
The Syrian army repelled a large rebel assault on an Aleppo prison. The attack was aimed at dislodging government forces and freeing an estimated 4,000 political prisoners are being held there, however the rebels were forced to retreat after airstrikes caused casualties among their ranks. Rebels blew open the prison's main-gate, and took control of a building.
Rebels besieged the 52 Brigade in Daraa. Rebels also claimed they recaptured the town of Qaysa, Rif Damascus, after launching a unified counter-offensive. Rebels also launched an attack on the Brigade 52 base in Daraa province.
The Russian navy has expanded their use of their naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus. Previously Russian ships only periodically visited the port, however in the last three months an average 10-15 ships have been reported as having been positioned near the port "at all times".
The father of Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has been kidnapped, based on past tactics, by rebel forces his home in Ghossom. In the Syrian-Lebanese border town of Qusayr rebels claimed to have killed at least 10 Hezbollah fighters in an ambush.
Deliberate gunfire from the Syrian-controlled side of the Golan Heights struck an Israeli patrol vehicle, Israeli soldiers returned fire, destroying the Syrian fire position.
US Senate panel backs arming Syrian rebels.
In fighting at Nayrab rebels have seized an army base and several army checkpoints, killing 40 Syrian soldiers and pro-government militiamen in the process with the loss of 14 rebels.
A former government scientist claims that the Syrian government is using diluted chemical weapons, such as with alcohol, on rebels to slow their advance while reducing the number of casualties, leaving open the question as to whether it was military grade tear gas or nerve gas that was used in these attacks thus avoiding the U.S. "red line" on chemical weapons. Amongst the areas were the weapon were alleged to be used are certain suburbs of Damascus, Aleppo’s Sheikh Maksoud district, Saraqeb and Homs. The scientist, who worked for Centre for Scientific Studies and Research, claims that the alleged gas attack on Khan al-Assa, Aleppo, on 19 March 2013, was likely tear gas and not nerve gas.
On 26 May 2013, two rockets hit a Hezbollah area of Beirut injuring five people whilst another two rockets caused property damage to buildings in the al-Hermel district of Beirut. Syrian rebels have been blamed for the attack as they had promised to attack Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in retaliation for their helping the Syrian army particularly in the border town of Al-Qusayr. Syrian rebels have also shelled al-Hermel previously.
Fighting between Kurdish (YPG/PYD) and Liwa al-Tawhid forces in the Ras al-Ayn village near the border with Turkey left 11 dead and 20 wounded.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) reports a large explosion in Sbeineh Camp, Damascus Governorate, on 27 May 2013. Early reports suggested that the explosion was caused by a ground-to-ground missile or airstrike. The attack claimed the lives of at least five Palestine refugees. A further eight were wounded and dozens of refugee homes were reportedly destroyed.
LCC reports 112 people were killed by the end of the day. 35 were killed in the Damascus suburbs.
A Syrian army general in March asked Rosoboronexport for a quote on a large number of military items "in the shortest possible time." These items included 20,000 Ak-47s, night vision equipment, 40mm grenade launchers and some 15,000,000 rounds of AK-47 ammunition. In relation to arms sales to the Assad government Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated that Russian arms, such as the S-300 surface-to-air missile, may actually "help restrain some ‘hotheads’ considering a scenario to give an international dimension to this conflict,"
The Syrian army attacked a convoy trying to remove injured people from the town (according to activists), killing at least 7. Local people report that 15,000 civilians remained trapped in the town with food and water running low. Civilians had to wait 3-4 days for drinking water.
At least 14 killed in double suicide attack in Damascus. Syrian helicopter fires on Lebanese town of Arsal.
US Government confirms that government forces used chemical weapons in Syria killing up to 150 people and announces increased "military support" to rebels as well as considering a limited no fly zone.
The Syrian Army captured the rebel stronghold town of Talkalakh. Following the assault, 39 local leaders of the Free Syrian Army surrendered and handed over their weapons. The Syrian opposition denied the town had fallen and claimed there was still fighting ongoing however reporters on the ground said there was no sign of it.
On July 5, 2013, an explosion occurred in Latakia port city either as an alleged result of an Israeli Defense Forces strike against targets believed to contain Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles supplied to the Syrian government of Bashar Al-Assad by Russia, or a result of mortar fire exchanges in the area. CNN reported that the strike was carried out by the Israeli Air Force, while the Sunday Times reported that the explosions were the result of a cruise missile fired from a Dolphin-class submarine. The blasts occurred at a military complex in the town of Samiyah, near Latakia. On 13 July 2013, United States officials said that Israel carried out an air attack that targeted advanced anti-ship cruise missiles sold to the Syrian government by Russia. Their conclusion was based on intelligence reports. The FSA speculated that "enemy aircraft" were responsible, while Hezbollah's Al-Manar claimed that the explosions were caused by "stray mortars" from "local clashes."
Islamist rebels kill at least 200 people during a three-day assault on Alawite villages in Latakia province. According to a local cleric, at least 100 of the victims were civilians, most of them women and children. A catholic nun said that the number of civilian casualties could be as high as 400-500 and many of them were mutilated, beheaded or dismembered alive. Also, kidnapping of other 150 civilians has been reported.
Syrian rebels captured the Menagh Military Airport, situated on the road between Aleppo and the Turkish city of Gaziantep, after a one-year-long siege. This capture marks an important symbolic victory for the opposition, following a string of defeats to President Assad's forces in central Syria and it consolidates the rebels' hold on a key supply route north of Aleppo.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Paolo Dall'Oglio, a Jesuit priest and missionary who had earlier been abducted by the ISIL, was killed in the rebel-held city of Ar-Raqqah.
Syrian activists reported that Assad forces struck Jobar, Zamalka, 'Ain Tirma, and Hazzah in the Eastern Ghouta region with chemical weapons. Activists at the Syrian Revolutionary Command Council said that at least 635 were killed in a nerve gas attack. Unverified videos uploaded showed the victims, many of whom were convulsing, as well as several dozen bodies lined up. Other sources reported a figure of 213 in a poisonous gas attack. The SNC chief said that the overall death toll stood at an estimated 1300, as only a fraction of the bodies could be collected and many died within their own homes.
Rebel forces took full control of Ariha In Idlib Province.
The United Kingdom and the United States deployed ships near Syria amidst a United Nations investigation concerning allegations that Syrian president al-Assad used chemical weapons against civilians. The following ships were deployed: HMS Bulwark, HMS Illustrious, USS Barry, USS Gravely, USS Mahan, and USS Ramage. The rebels in Syria also captured the village of Khanasir. It was the last key government supply route for the government forces in Aleppo.
British Parliament had decided not to take action in Syria. David Cameron had supported military actions in Syria, but the majority vote was 'no'. Cameron said he respects the vote. French Parliament is still deciding whether to take military action. The United States deployed their fifth warship, the USS Stout, to the Mediterranean.
The United States deployed their sixth warship, the USS San Antonio, to the Mediterranean, while President Obama decides to refrain the attack until the authorization of the Congress.
President of the United States Barack Obama gave a speech in the White House rose garden in which he announced that he would seek authorization from Congress before using American military forces to intervene in the Syrian civil war. In the speech, he announced that he was "prepared to give that order," referring to ordering a strike on Syria. Obama argued that it was necessary to intervene because the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria "risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemicals weapons" and that it put U.S. regional allies that share a border with Syria in danger.
Israel launches two missiles to test its advanced defence system. The launch has been detected by multiple Russian warships in the area. The naval battle group led by USS Nimitz (CV-68) is deployed in the area, while USS Mahan (DDG-72) is retired and reaches its homeport in Norfolk, Virginia. It was reported that Pro-Syrian government forces have retaken the town of Ariha, after losing it a week before.
In response to the speech given by President Obama on 31 August, the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Government of Syria to Respond to Use of Chemical Weapons (S.J.Res 21). If the bill passes, it would allow the president to take direct action for up to 90 days; it specifically forbids putting "boots on the ground." The bill still needs to be approved by the full United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives before it would become law and thereby authorize US military intervention into the Syrian civil war.
Syrian army has completely regained Maaloula, see Battle of Maaloula for more detail.
Abu Abdullah Libi, one of leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, was killed by FSA operatives close to a village of Hazano.
On 7 November, the Syrian army backed by Hezbollah, Al-Abbas brigade and the National Defense Force retook the key town of Al-Sabinah, south of Damascus. According to an opposition activist, military "progress on the ground without a doubt, because the regions were besieged for too long. This is normal." Abdel Rahman also blamed "divisions within the rebels."
YPG units were locked in large-scale and bloody fighting around the jihadist stronghold of Tall Hamis. Government forces simultaneously attacked a YPG checkpoint in Hasakah and an Asayish checkpoint in nearby Tall Hajar neighbourhood. Seven soldiers were killed by the YPG and Asayish, while one YPG fighter lost his life and two Asayish members were wounded; civilian deaths and injuries were also reported. Government forces soon retreated.
- "Russia bans flights over Syria after airliner targeted by missiles 1 May 2013". Traveller. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syrian forces responsible for Banias massacres: U.N. report". Yahoo News. 11 September 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
- "Syrian activists document al-Bayda and Baniyas 'massacre'". BBC News. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
- Israel Bombs Syria as the U.S. Weighs Its Own Options 4 May 2013
- "Syrian rebels enter northern air base 5 May 2013". Yahoo News. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Battlefield Update: The Fight for Isolated Government Outposts in Northern Syria 15 May 2013
- Syria: Israeli rockets pummel Damascus area 5 May 2013
- "Syria says Israel strikes near Damascus 5 May 2013". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "President Assad says he can face Israel as Syria loses access to internet 8 May 2013". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syrian internet back after 19-hour blackout 8 May 2013". BBC News. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Manila seeks Golan Heights peacekeeper pullout after abductions 10 May 2013". Reuters. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "3 Lebanese fighters killed in Syria, 36 others missing 10 May 2013". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Syrian rebels cut major desert road linking the country's 2 largest cities Archived 13 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Syrian troops retake strategic town 13 May 2013". The Independent. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Turkey says bombing suspects are linked to Syria 13 May 2013". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Abandoned arms as Syria rebels pull back near Qusayr 13 May 2013 Archived 15 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "Turkish F-16 fighter crashes near Syria, killing pilot 13 May 2013". BBC News. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syria death toll at least 80,000, says U.N. General Assembly president 15 May 2013". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syrian rebels, regime troops battle inside Aleppo prison 16 May 2013". thereporter.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syrian rebels launch offensive in south to reverse losses 16 May 2013". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syria Today: Obama & Erdogan Call for Assad to Go --- But Will They Do Anything? 17 May 2013". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Russia boosts fleet off Syria 18 May 2013". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syria rebels seize Alawite villages in Hama 18 May 2013". 18 May 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syria: HRW, evidence of regime torturing prisoners in Raqqa 17 May 2013". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Father of Assad spokesman Mekdad kidnapped in Syria 18 May 2013". BBC News. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Hezbollah fighters head to strategic Aleppo town as fighting rages 19 May 2013". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syria conflict: Fierce battle for key town of Qusair 20 May 2013". BBC News. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Israeli troops in Golan return Syria fire 21 May 2013". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Hezbollah sends new fighters to bloody Syria battle". Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "US Senate panel backs arming Syrian rebels 22 May 2013". Al Jazeera Blogs. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syria Live Blog 22 May 2013". Al Jazeera Blogs. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Basma Atassi. "Insider sheds light on Syria's chemical arms 23 May 2013". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Saad Abedine and Ben Brumfield, CNN (26 May 2013). "Rockets strike Beirut suburb as sectarian strife flares in Lebanon, Syria 26 May 2013". CNN. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Two rockets hit Beirut's southern suburbs 26 May 2013". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syrian opposition in chaos 27 May 2013". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "11 killed as Syria rebels, Kurds clash 26 May 2013". GlobalPost. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "UNRWA condemns attack on Sbeineh Palestine refugee camp in Syria | UNRWA". UNRWA. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
- Lebanon says it was hit by rockets launched from Syria 29 May 2013
- Opposition forces block Hezbollah from entering Darya: 161 killed in Syria as FSA rebels claim crucial breakthrough 31 May 2013
- "Russia sends arms to Syria as it tries to reassert its role in region 30 May 2013". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syrian troops attack convoy evacuating wounded people: activists 31 May 2013". CTVNews. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Hezbollah Sends Fighters To Qusayr From Lebanon 31 May 2013
- "Syria's Assad warns Israel on air strikes". BBC News. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Paul Owen. "Kerry: Russia plan to sell Syria missiles has 'profoundly negative impact' – as it happened 31 May 2013". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "At least 14 killed in double suicide attack in Damascus 12 June 2013". BNO News. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syrian helicopter fires on Lebanese town, two wounded 12 June 2013". Reuters. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "White House: Syria chemical weapons kill up to 150 13 June 2013". Yahoo News. 13 June 2013. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Russia Condemns US Move To Arm Syria Rebels 14 June 2013". Sky News. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Tal Kalakh: The Syrian town that lost the will to fight - The once rebel stronghold is back in the hands of the Syrian army". 25 June 2013.
- "Israel targeted Russian-made missiles in Syria, US officials say". The Guardian. 14 July 2013.
- Kais, Roi (6 July 2013). "Mysterious explosion hits Assad munitions cache in Latakia". Ynetnews. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- "Israeli submarine strike hit Syrian arms depot". The Jerusalem Post. 14 July 2013.
- "The explosions in Latakia: Before and after". Israel Defense. 13 July 2013.
- "Israel Airstrike Targeted Advanced Missiles That Russia Sold to Syria, U.S. Says", New York Times. 14 July 2013
- "Abu Bassir Al Ladkani Dead: Assassination Of Syrian Rebel Commander Means War With Foreign Fighters, Rebels Say 12 July 2013". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Syria rebels strike Assad's Alawite stronghold, seize airport | Reuters
- Syrian Rebel Forces Set Sights on Latakia - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East Archived 24 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- 'Footage of chemical attack in Syria is fraud' — RT Op-Edge
- Sherlock, Ruth (11 August 2013). "Syrian rebels accused of sectarian murders". Telegraph.
- Syrian rebels capture military airport near Turkey. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
- "Syria: Hopes for Jesuit Priest Paolo Dall'Oglio Fade as Death Reported by Human Rights Activists".
- Syria: Up to 635 Reported Dead in Chemical Attack - Middle East - News - Israel National News
- Ian Black. "The Guardian, 21 August 2013". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Syria | Reuters.com
- . From SOHR's Facebook post at:. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- LaGrone, Sam (26 August 2013). "U.S. and U.K. Move Ships Closer to Syria". United States Naval Institute. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "Official: 5th destroyer headed to the Med". Navy Times. 29 August 2013. Archived from the original on 29 August 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- Shalal-Esa, Andrea (30 August 2013). "Sixth U.S. ship now in eastern Mediterranean 'as precaution'". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Peter Baker; Jonathan Weisman (31 August 2013). "Obama Seeks Approval by Congress for Strike in Syria". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- "Text of President Obama's Remarks on Syria". The New York Times. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- "Official: Obama administration presses for support on Syrian strikes". CNN. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- Syrian forces capture strategic northern town: opposition | Reuters
- Army Retakes Strategic Town in Northwest Syria — Naharnet
- Kasperowicz, Pete (6 September 2013). "A closer look at next week... Spending, Syria, ObamaCare". The Hill. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- "Bulgaria asks for EU help with Syrian refugees". FOCUS Information Agency. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Syria rebels 'seize Christian town Maalula'". Archived from the original on 11 September 2013.
- Syria gov’t gains Christian site Maaloula - Breaking news Archived 27 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine by jn1.tv
- Al Qaeda-linked rebel leader reported killed in Syria - latimes.com
- "Syria army retakes northern strategic town". Gulfnews.com. 3 October 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- . 16 October 2013. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Retrieved 17 October 2013
- . 17 October 2013. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- "Syrian forces capture town near chemical weapons site: Activists". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Air raids on rebel areas near Damascus, Kurds advance: NGO Archived 9 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Aidée par le Hezbollah, l'armée syrienne reprend une cité clé près de Damas - L'Orient-Le Jour
- Assad's forces advance in northern Syria towards Aleppo | Reuters
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Scores of rebels killed in Syrian government ambush | Reuters
- عاجل- قوات النظام تهاجم على حاجز لوحدات حماية الشعب (in Arabic). Hawar News Agency. 31 December 2013. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- "مقتل 7 من جنود النظام في اشتباكات الحسكة". Hawar News Agency. 1 January 2014. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.