Lebanon Timeline

Over the centuries, the region of modern-day Lebanon has been the territory of the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, Persians, the Roman Empire, Arabs, Egyptians, the Ottoman Empire and France, before Lebanon finally gained independence in 1943.

As a result, Lebanon has been coloured by a range of cultures. But the country has also witnessed waves of factional violence.


January : Israel launches air strikes on Syrian side of the Golan, killing Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general. Several clashes ensue across Israeli-Lebanese border.

November 12th: 45 people were killed and around 200 injured in Lebanon when a pair of suicide bombings hit the capital Beirut. The attacks happened minutes apart at a Shia community centre and nearby bakery in the Borj al Barajneh area during the evening rush hour. In a statement posted on Twitter, Islamic State said its members detonated a bike loaded with explosives and when people gathered a suicide bomber blew himself up among them

A Lebanese security official gave a different version of events to IS, saying the first attacker set off his explosives vest outside the community centre, while the second blew himself up inside the bakery.

An apparent third suicide bomber was found dead, his legs blown off, wearing an intact explosives’ belt, the official added.

2014 :

February : After 10 months of negotiations, Salam formed a cabinet represented equally by members of the pro-Syria, Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition and the Western-backed March 14th group headed by Saad Hariri.

April : UN announces that number of Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon has surpassed one million. The accelerating influx means that one in every four people living in Lebanon is now a refugee from the Syrian conflict.

May : President Suleiman ends his term of office, leaving a power vacuum. Several attempts are made in parliament over subsequent months to choose a successor.

August : Syrian rebels overrun border town of Arsal. They withdraw after being challenged by the military but take 30 soldiers and police captive.

September : Prime Minister Salam appeals to world leaders at the UN to help Lebanon face a ”terrorist onslaught” and the flood of refugees from Syria.

October : Clashes in Tripoli between the army and Islamist gunmen, in a spill-over of violence from the Syrian conflict.

November : Parliament extends own term to 2017, citing Syria-related security concerns.

2013 :

March : Syrian warplanes and helicopters fire rockets into northern Lebanon, days after Damascus warns Beirut to stop militants crossing the border to fight Syrian government forces.

March : Prime Minister Najib Mikati resigns in protest over parliament’s failure to agree on how to oversee upcoming elections. Mikati was also unhappy with the cabinet’s refusal to consider extending the police chief’s tenure.

April : Sunni Muslim politician Tammam Salam is tasked with forming a new government.

Parliament votes to put off elections due in June until November 2014 because of security concerns over the conflict in Syria. It’s the first time an election had been delayed since Lebanon’s civil war ended in 1990.

May : At least 10 people die in further sectarian clashes in Tripoli between supporters and opponents of the Syrian regime.

Syria’s civil war spills into Lebanon, mainly due to the increased involvement of Hezbollah, which supports Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. On May 25, Hezbollah and Syrian forces bomb the rebel-controlled town of Al-Qusayr in the Syrian province of Homs. Dozens are killed. The following day, multiple rockets hit Beirut, mainly striking Shiite suburbs.

June  : A number of people are killed in clashes between Hezbollah gunmen and Syrian rebels within Lebanon. At least 17 Lebanese soldiers are killed in clashes with Sunni militants in the port city of Sidon.

July : European Union lists the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. The move makes it illegal for Europeans to send money or arms to Hezbollah and freezes the assets held in European institutions by the group’s members.

August : Dozens of people are killed in bomb attacks at two mosques in Tripoli. The twin attacks, which are linked to tensions over the Syrian conflict, are the deadliest in Lebanon since the end of the civil war in 1990.

September : The United Nations refugee agency says there are at least 700,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

November : A double suicide bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut kills at least 23 people. The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, takes responsibility for the attack, which is seen as retribution for Iran’s support of Hezbollah and the Syrian government.

Senior Hezbollah commander Hassan Lakkis is shot dead near Beirut. Hezbollah accuses Israel of assassinating him. Israel denies any involvement.

Former Lebanese minister and opposition figure Mohamad Chatah – a Sunni Muslim who was also a staunch critic of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – is killed by a car bomb in central Beirut.

 2012 :

The Syrian conflict that began in March 2011 spills over into Lebanon the summer of 2012 in deadly clashes between Sunni Muslims and Alawites in Tripoli and Beirut.

October: A bomb blast in Beirut kills eight people, including Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, head of the country’s Internal Security Forces and a vociferous critic of the regime in Syria. Weekend clashes between supporters of Lebanon’s government and opponents who feel the current regime is too closely allied with Syria lead to at least four deaths across the country.