|A 2004 attack which killed a Hamas activist in Damascus was blamed on Israel [EPA]
Syria has seen few major attacks, either by internal groups or by outside powers, although it remains technically still at war with Israel, only withdrew its troops from Lebanon in 2005 and was named by George Bush, the US president, as part of his administration’s so-called “axis of evil”.
Attacks by groups inside Syria, which is tightly-controlled by the state and its powerful security forces, are rare. Most have been blamed on Sunni Muslim groups.
From outside Syria, both Israel and the US have been involved in bombing raids on the country.
April 1986: A string of co-ordinated attacks around the northern fishing port of Tartus and several other towns kill at least 144 people and injure another 149.
Syrian officials blame Saddam Hussein, the then-president of neighbouring Iraq.
December 1996: An explosion on a bus in a Damascus neighbourhood kills 13 people and wounds 40 others.
April 2004: Three assailants, a policeman and a woman passer-by die in a gun battle in an area of Damascus which includes a number of diplomatic missions.
The government blames al-Qaeda, but the attack is claimed by a group which says it wants to avenge the government crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in Hama in 1982.
September 2004: A car bomb in southern Damascus kills an official of the Palestinian Hamas movement and three passers-by. Both the government and Hamas blame Israel.
September 2006: Three armed men and a member of the security forces are killed and 14 people wounded in a failed attempt to set off a car bomb outside the US embassy in Damascus.
September 6, 2007: Israel attacks a site in northern Syria that Damascus called an “unused military building” but which some later reports suggested was a planned nuclear facility.
February 12, 2008: Imad Moghaniyah, a senior Hezbollah commander linked to attacks against Western and Israeli targets in the 1980s and 1990s, is killed by a car bomb in Damascus.
Hezbollah blames Israel, but it denies any involvement.
August 6, 2008: Syria confirms the assassination of Mohammed Sleiman, an army general described in the Arab media as having been the government’s liaison with the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon.
September 27, 2008: Seventeen civilians die in a car bomb blast on a road leading to Damascus’s airport.
October 26, 2008: Syria says a US raid on the village of Sukariya in the country’s east killed eight civilians.