Following are key dates in the career of Syrian President Hafez Assad:
June 1967 — A former army general, Assad serves as defense minister during the Six-Day War, during which Israel captures the Golan Heights from Syria.
Nov. 13, 1970 — Assad seizes power in a bloodless coup.
March 12, 1971 — Parliament elects Assad president.
October 1973 — Syria and Egypt jointly launch a surprise attack on Israel to recapture territory lost in 1967. Syria almost regains the Golan, but Israel ultimately pushes Assad’s forces back.
May 1974 — Israel and Syria agree to disengage forces in the Golan; a U.N. observer force is created to monitor the U.S.-brokered agreement.
Jan. 16, 1976 — Reacting to civil war in Lebanon, Assad sends forces there.
February 1979 — After Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Assad allies himself with the fundamentalist leaders of Iran in aiding international terrorists against Israel.
March 27, 1979 — Assad condemns Egypt one day after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signs a peace deal with Israel.
Dec. 14, 1981 — Israel annexes the Golan Heights.
February 1982 — Assad sends forces into the Syrian city of Hama to crush an uprising. An estimated 10,000 people are killed.
June 1982 — Israel invades Lebanon; Syrian troops pull back to northern and eastern Lebanon.
June 1983 — Assad expels PLO leader Yasser Arafat from Syria. Assad also sponsors a mutiny by PLO radicals that drives Arafat out of Lebanon.
Aug. 2, 1990 — After Iraq invades Kuwait, Assad joins U.S. coalition against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
November 1991 — Syria attends U.S.-sponsored peace talks with Israel, attends Madrid Conference in November 1991.
April 1992 — Assad tells leaders of Syrian Jewry that he has decided to lift the decades-old restrictions that barred Jews from leaving the country.
October 1994 — Details emerge about a secret operation in which approximately 4,000 Syrian Jews left the country, some 1,500 of whom settled in Israel.
March 1996 — Sporadic Israeli-Syrian negotiations are halted when Assad fails to condemn a series of terror attacks against Israel.
December 1999 — Assad agrees to resume peace talks with Israel.
January 2000 — Israeli-Syrian talks are postponed indefinitely after Assad demands a written Israeli commitment to withdrawal from the Golan.
March 26, 2000 — During a summit in Geneva, President Clinton and Syrian President Hafez Assad fail to find a basis for resuming Israeli-Syrian talks.
June 10, 2000 — Assad dies at the age of 69, leaving his son Bashar as his designated heir.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.