As a historical region, Syria had no set boundaries. It consisted generally of the fertile western area of the modern country, present Lebanon, and a slight extension into Turkey. Sometimes Palestine was regarded as part of Syria, but it will not be so treated in this article.

Important dates in Syria
2300's B.C. The Akkadians conquered northern and eastern Syria.
c. 1500 B.C. The Arameans arrived in Syria.
732 B.C. The Assyrians conquered most of Syria.
539 B.C. Syria became part of the Persian Empire.
331 B.C. Alexander the Great gained control of Syria.
64 B.C. Syria fell to the Romans.
A.D. 636 Muslim Arabs defeated Byzantine forces and gained control of Syria.
1516 The Ottomans added Syria to their empire.
1914-1918 Syrians and other Arabs revolted against Ottoman rule during World War I.
1920 France occupied Syria under a League of Nations mandate.
1946 Syria gained complete independence from France.
1948 Syrian and other Arab troops went to war with Israel. The United Nations (UN) eventually arranged a cease-fire.
1967 Israel defeated Syria, Egypt, and Jordan in a brief war, and Israel occupied Syria's Golan Heights.
1973 Syria and Egypt led an Arab war with Israel. Cease-fires ended the fighting.
1976 Syria sent troops into Lebanon in an effort to stop a civil war there.
1981 Israel claimed legal and political authority in the Golan Heights. Syria and many other nations denounced this action.
1991 Syrian troops helped end the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.