TIME­LINE OF U.S. IN­VOLVE­MENT IN SYRIA

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March 2011: Protests erupt in the south­ern Syr­ian city of Daraa over se­cu­rity forces’ de­ten­tion of a group of boys ac­cused of paint­ing antigov­ern­ment graf­fiti on the walls of their school. Demon­stra­tions spread, as does the crack­down by Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad’s forces.

Au­gust 2011: Pres­i­dent Barack Obama calls on As­sad to re­sign and orders Syr­ian gov­ern­ment as­sets frozen.

June 2013: U.S. of­fi­cials con­clude that As­sad’s forces had used chem­i­cal weapons against the op­po­si­tion. Obama au­tho­rizes di­rect sup­port for the rebels.

Aug. 20, 2012: Obama fa­mously de­scribes the use by As­sad’s gov­ern­ment of chem­i­cal weapons a “red line” that would draw U.S. re­tal­i­a­tion.

Aug. 21, 2013: Hun­dreds of peo­ple suf­fo­cate in rebel-held suburbs of the Syr­ian cap­i­tal. U.N. in­ves­ti­ga­tors visit the sites and de­ter­mine that ground-to-ground mis­siles loaded with sarin were fired on civil­ian ar­eas while res­i­dents slept. The U.S. and oth­ers blame the Syr­ian gov­ern­ment.

Aug. 31, 2013: Obama says he will go to Congress for au­tho­riza­tion to carry out puni­tive strikes against the Syr­ian gov­ern­ment, but ap­pears to lack the nec­es­sary sup­port in the leg­is­la­ture. He is widely crit­i­cized for not com­mit­ting to his “red line” com­ment.

Sum­mer of 2014: The U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion re­veals that sev­eral dozen spe­cial op­er­a­tions troops had been on the ground in Syria briefly in an ef­fort to res­cue for­eign hostages taken by the Is­lamic State group, but did not find them.

Sept. 22, 2014: Obama launches a U.S. air cam­paign against the Is­lamic State in Syria, one month af­ter launch­ing airstrikes in neigh­bor­ing Iraq. To date, the U.S.-led coali­tion has launched airstrikes on at least 17,000 lo­ca­tions in Syria since the start of the op­er­a­tion.

Late 2015: The first Amer­i­can ground troops en­ter Syria – ini­tially 50, grow­ing to the cur­rent of­fi­cial to­tal of about 2,000. They re­cruit, or­ga­nize and ad­vise thou­sands of Syr­ian Kur­dish and Arab fighters, dubbed the Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forces, and push IS out of most of its strongholds.

Nov. 24, 2016: Se­nior Chief Petty Of­fi­cer Scott Cooper Day­ton, 42, of Wood­bridge, Vir­ginia, is killed in an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice blast near the north­ern Syr­ian town of Ayn Issa, be­com­ing the first Amer­i­can ca­su­alty in com­bat in the fight against IS in Syria.

April 4, 2017: More than 90 peo­ple are killed in a sus­pected nerve gas at­tack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the rebel-held Idlib prov­ince. Moscow and Da­m­as­cus deny re­spon­si­bil­ity.

April 5, 2017: Trump says As­sad’s gov­ern­ment has “crossed a lot of lines” with the sus­pected chem­i­cal at­tack in Syria and a day later, the U.S. fires 59 cruise mis­siles into Syria in re­tal­i­a­tion – the first di­rect Amer­i­can as­sault on the Syr­ian gov­ern­ment.

March 30, 2018: U.S. Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dun­bar is killed by a road­side bomb at­tack in Syria along­side a Bri­tish ser­vice­man.

April 7, 2018: Syr­ian ac­tivists, res­cuers and medics say a poi­son gas at­tack on the rebel-held town of Douma near the cap­i­tal has killed at least 40 peo­ple. The Syr­ian gov­ern­ment and Rus­sia re­ject the al­le­ga­tions, say­ing the pur­ported ev­i­dence of the chem­i­cal weapons at­tack was fab­ri­cated.

April 8, 2018: Trump calls As­sad an “an­i­mal” and says there would be a “big price to pay” for re­sort­ing to out­lawed weapons of mass destruc­tion.

April 15, 2018: The United State, Bri­tain and France launch mis­sile at­tacks on the Syr­ian cap­i­tal Da­m­as­cus and the cen­tral prov­ince of Homs in re­tal­i­a­tion for the Douma at­tack. Syria says its air de­fenses in­ter­cepted most of the mis­siles fired.

Dec. 19, 2018: Trump an­nounces on Twit­ter his in­ten­tion to with­draw troops from Syria, adding in a video posted to Twit­ter, “now it’s time for our troops to come back home.” The with­drawal is ini­tially ex­pected to be car­ried out within weeks.

Dec. 21, 2018: De­fense Sec­re­tary Jim Mat­tis and Brett McGurk, the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s spe­cial en­voy to the global anti-IS coali­tion, re­sign in protest.

Jan. 6, 2019: U.S. na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser John Bolton says dur­ing a visit to Is­rael that U.S. troops will not leave north­east­ern Syria un­til IS mil­i­tants are de­feated and Amer­i­can-al­lied Kur­dish fighters are pro­tected. The com­ments ap­pear to put the brakes on the with­drawal abruptly an­nounced by Trump.

Jan. 8, 2019: Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan ac­cuses the U.S. na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser of mak­ing “a very se­ri­ous mis­take” by de­mand­ing that Ankara guar­an­tee the safety of Kur­dish fighters in north­east­ern Syria be­fore the U.S. with­draws its troops.

Jan. 11, 2019: A U.S. de­fense of­fi­cial in Wash­ing­ton says some mil­i­tary cargo has been pulled out of Syria, mark­ing the be­gin­ning of the with­drawal process.

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