The inauguration of Donald Trump as US president, the Qatar crisis, and the mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar – following is a timeline of major events in 2017.

A Rohingya family leaves Myanmar, crossing the Naf river on the border with Bangladesh.
A Rohingya family leaves Myanmar, crossing the Naf river on the border with Bangladesh. (AP)

January 1 

New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul

A gunman storms an Istanbul nightclub packed with New Year's revellers in the early hours of 2017, killing at least 39 people and wounding 69. Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack carried out by Abdulgadir Masharipov who confessed to the terrorist assault.

January 20

Donald Trump sworn in as the 45th US president

Republican billionaire Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th US president, vowing to follow an 'America First' policy, which has impacted issues from climate change to the status of Jerusalem.

Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States as Melania Trump looks on during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington DC.
Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States as Melania Trump looks on during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington DC. (AP)

January 21

Women march

Women and supporters around the world march in support of human rights, women's rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers' rights.

In the US, President Donald Trump was targeted in rallies across the country, including a massive protest in Washington DC.

A crowd fills Independence Avenue during the Women's March in Washington DC, January 21, 2017.
A crowd fills Independence Avenue during the Women's March in Washington DC, January 21, 2017. (AP Archive)

January 23

Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana

Astana peace negotiations brokered by Turkey, Russia and Iran have their first meeting in the Kazakh capital. The effort is aimed at ending almost seven years of conflict in Syria, but so far has not borne fruit beyond establishing four de-escalation zones.

January 26 

The Doomsday Clock Is Reset: Closest To Midnight Since The 1950s

The clock moves closer to midnight, from three minutes to two and a half minutes, as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says it's seeing an increase in dangers to humanity, from climate change to nuclear warfare.

March 29 

Britain triggers Article 50, Brexit negotiations start

The United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process, triggering article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and starting the two-year process of taking the UK out of the European Union.

April 4

Syrian regime launches chemical attack, kills dozens

Bashar al Assad's Syrian regime launches a chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun, killing close to 90 people and wounding another 550.

Rescuers and victims of a chemical weapons attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun, to the south of Idlib, in Syria.
Rescuers and victims of a chemical weapons attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun, to the south of Idlib, in Syria. (TRTWorld)

April 6

US cruise missiles destroy Syrian regime air base

The US fires 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria targeting the regime's Shayrat air base near Homs.

The US carried out the strike in response to the regime's chemical weapons attack on Khan Shaykhun.

April 9

Bombings at two Coptic churches in Egypt kill dozens

Bombs explode at two Coptic churches in the northern Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria as worshippers are celebrating Palm Sunday.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attacks which killed more than 40 people prompting anger and fear among Christians in Egypt.

Blood stains on pews inside the St George Church after a suicide bombing in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, Egypt.
Blood stains on pews inside the St George Church after a suicide bombing in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, Egypt. (AP)

April 16 

Refugee death toll passes 1,000 

Almost 30 migrants die in a dinghy drifting off Libya's coast, succumbing to thirst and hunger after their boat’s engine broke down. By the end of the year, more than 5,000 migrants and refugees will have died worldwide, most of them in the Mediterranean.

A migrant rescued from a rubber dinghy is helped aboard the MV Aquarius, a search and rescue ship run in partnership between SOS Mediterranee and Medecins Sans Frontieres, in the central Mediterranean, off the coast of Libya, December 15, 2017.
A migrant rescued from a rubber dinghy is helped aboard the MV Aquarius, a search and rescue ship run in partnership between SOS Mediterranee and Medecins Sans Frontieres, in the central Mediterranean, off the coast of Libya, December 15, 2017. (Reuters)

April 16

Turkey says YES to presidential system

The Turkish people vote by 51.4-48.6 percent to replace the country's parliamentary system with a presidential one, which will scrap the office of prime minister and transform the presidency from a ceremonial to an executive role. Turnout was 85.4 percent.

Supporters of the 'Yes' vote celebrate the referendum result in Istanbul.
Supporters of the 'Yes' vote celebrate the referendum result in Istanbul. (AP)

May 6

Macron elected French president

Emmanuel Macron is elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist who promised to take France out of the EU.

His victory was also a win for European allies who feared another populist upheaval, following the UK's Brexit vote.

May 19

Iran's Hassan Rouhani returned as president

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election. Although the powers of the elected president are limited by those of unelected Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Rouhani's victory gives the pro-reform camp a mandate to push back against conservatives.

May 22

Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert

A suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in the northern English city of Manchester leaves 22 people dead and dozens injured.

Two women wrapped in thermal blankets look on near the Manchester Arena.
Two women wrapped in thermal blankets look on near the Manchester Arena. (Reuters)

May 23 

Maduro launches overhaul of constitution

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro formally launches moves to rewrite the constitution, defying opponents who accuse him of clinging to power in a political crisis that has sparked deadly unrest.

By the end of the year, Venezuela's neighbours – Honduras, Peru, and Brazil – will all have experienced their own political crises, as several Latin American countries look to 2018 with uncertainty.

May 23

Sixth mass extinction underway

The US National Academy of Science publishes a paper in which its authors argue a sixth mass extinction is underway on earth.

May 26

Coptic Christians in Egypt again targeted

Gunmen open fire on a bus, which was carrying a group of Coptic Christians to a monastery in Minya in central Egypt, killing 28 people. 

Relatives of the victims surround their coffins, during a funeral service, at Abu Garnous Cathedral in Minya, Egypt.
Relatives of the victims surround their coffins, during a funeral service, at Abu Garnous Cathedral in Minya, Egypt. (AP)

June 5

Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar

Led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, several states in the Middle East and Africa severe ties with Qatar. They accuse the gas-rich Gulf state of supporting terrorism. They also say Qatar supports Iran with whom it shares one of the world's biggest gas fields.

June 7

Daesh strikes Iran's capital Tehran

Suicide bombers and gunmen attack the Iranian parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum in Tehran. They kill 13 people and wound another 39.

Daesh says it is behind the assaults.

A man hands a child to a security guard from Iran's parliament building during an assault claimed by Daesh, in Tehran, Iran.
A man hands a child to a security guard from Iran's parliament building during an assault claimed by Daesh, in Tehran, Iran. (AP)

June 14 

London fire kills 71

A fire breaks out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower, a social housing block in west London. It spreads with terrifying speed and eventually kills 71 people, many of whom died trapped inside the building. 

The incident angers the public with many saying the blaze and its aftermath expose class and social divisions within British society.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a fire in the Grenfell Tower apartment block in West London. The remains of the tower are due to be dismantled towards the end of 2018.
Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a fire in the Grenfell Tower apartment block in West London. The remains of the tower are due to be dismantled towards the end of 2018. (Reuters)

July 4

Kim Jong-un's missile ambitions

North Korea conducts the first test of what it calls an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), claiming it can reach "anywhere in the world." Of the missiles the DPRK previously tested, one is intermediate-range, two were medium-range, eight were either short-range or medium-range. The range of the missile tested on July 4, Independence Day in the United States which is in a war of words with the DPRK, is unknown.

Shared by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, September 16, 2017.
Shared by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, September 16, 2017. (AP Archive)

July 10

Iraq says Mosul liberated from Daesh

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi formally announces victory over Daesh in Mosul. This marks the biggest defeat for the terrorist group since it declared its 'caliphate' from the northern city in 2014.

A man and his daughter in Mosul as Iraqi forces clash with Daesh during the liberation of the city.
A man and his daughter in Mosul as Iraqi forces clash with Daesh during the liberation of the city. (Reuters)

July 28

Pakistan's top court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif from office

Pakistan's Supreme Court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office in a unanimous decision after an investigative panel alleges his family cannot account for its vast wealth.

August 5

US withdraws from Paris climate change pact

The US officially informs the United Nations it will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement which was agreed by nearly 200 nations over the course of years. Puting 'America First', the Trump administration says the accord would have cost the US financially, killed jobs and hindered its industries.

August  17

Four storms in one season 

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate cause record breaking damage in the Caribbean and southern United States.

Harvey forms on August 17, and will slam into the southern US a week later, devastating parts of major Texas city Houston.

On September 28, Maria will hit Puerto Rico, killing at least 58 people, and severely damaging the island's power and water supply infrastructure, which by year's end will still not be fully restored.

August 25 

Rohingya flee violence in Myanmar

Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state after the military begins what it calls a crackdown on rebels who attack an army base and police posts.

Thousands of Rohingya are killed in the ensuing violence, and by year's end over 600,000 of the persecuted minority will have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh in what the UN, the US and Turkey describe as ethnic cleansing.

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar after crossing into Bangladesh near Cox's Bazar.
Rohingya refugees from Myanmar after crossing into Bangladesh near Cox's Bazar. (AP)

September 15

NASA's 13-year Saturn mission ends

NASA's Cassini spacecraft ends its mission in spectacular style by diving into the upper atmosphere of distant Saturn. 

Scenes at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, after confirmation that Cassini had finished its mission, September 15, 2017.
Scenes at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, after confirmation that Cassini had finished its mission, September 15, 2017. (AP)

September 20

Magnitude 7.1 earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico 

A magnitude 7.1 quake, the deadliest to hit the nation since 1985, strikes central Mexico toppling dozens of buildings and killing more than 200 people. 

An altar to the Virgin of Guadalupe inside an earthquake-damaged home in Juchitan, Oaxaca state, Mexico.
An altar to the Virgin of Guadalupe inside an earthquake-damaged home in Juchitan, Oaxaca state, Mexico. (AP)

September 24

Germany's Merkel wins fourth term, far-right AfD enters parliament

Chancellor Angela Merkel wins a fourth term in office as her conservatives beat their rivals in the federal election. However, the voting also brings a far-right party into Germany's Bundestag for the first time in more than half a century. The anti-immigration AfD receives 13.5 percent of the votes. 

Unable to govern alone, Merkel's CDU fails to form a coalition government, with negotiations continuing into 2018.

September 25

KRG holds referendum on independence

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq holds an independence referendum. More than 90 percent of voters say 'yes', but the move escalates tension in the region and Baghdad moves to reassert control in disputed areas. Under pressure domestically and internationally, KRG leader Masoud Barzani resigns.

Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani casts his vote during the KRG- independence referendum in Erbil, Iraq.
Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani casts his vote during the KRG- independence referendum in Erbil, Iraq. (Reuters)

September 26

Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving

King Salman bin Abdulaziz orders that women be allowed to drive cars ending the kingdom's status as the only country in the world forbidding the practice.

October 1

Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival

A man armed with more than 10 rifles rains down gunfire on a Las Vegas country music festival, killing at least 59 people before killing himself in the largest mass shooting in modern US history.

A woman near the scene of a shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, in Las Vegas.
A woman near the scene of a shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, in Las Vegas. (AP)

October 5

Harvey Weinstein accused of sexual harassment

The New York Times outs Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's decades of alleged sexual harassment. A deluge of accusations, firings and resignations across the political and business worlds follows as women across America say #MeToo. Time magazine names the 'Silence Breakers' its Person of the Year.

October 14

Mogadishu bombings

Twin attacks including a massive blast caused by a truck bomb in Somalia's capital Mogadishu kill more than 500 people. Hundreds are wounded. There is no claim of responsibility, but authorities say the attack bore the hallmarks of Al Shabab.

A Somali soldier helps a civilian who was wounded in the blast in Mogadishu, Somalia.
A Somali soldier helps a civilian who was wounded in the blast in Mogadishu, Somalia. (AP)

October 17

US-backed SDF declares Syria's Raqqa free of Daesh

US-backed SDF declares victory over Daesh in its de facto Syrian capital Raqqa, declaring the city free of any terrorist presence.

October 24

Xi Jinping joins China's 'immortals'

China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same exalted status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and reformist icon Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining 'Xi Jinping thought' in the party's constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping bows during the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing, China, October 18, 2017.
Chinese President Xi Jinping bows during the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing, China, October 18, 2017. (Reuters Archive)

October 27

Catalonia declares independence

Following approval by parliament, Catalonia's President Carles Puigdemont declares the region's independence from Spain, following the separatists' victory in an October 1 referendum. In response, Madrid imposes direct rule over the region, sacks its president and dismisses its parliament. 

In a regional parliamentary election on December 21, the separatists will again win, meaning any resolution of the crisis will have to wait until at least 2018.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont signs an independence declaration document after a parliamentary session in Barcelona, Spain.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont signs an independence declaration document after a parliamentary session in Barcelona, Spain. (AP)

November 4

Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri resigns, then doesn't

Lebanon's Saad Hariri attempts to resign as prime minister saying he fears a plot on his life, criticising Iran and Hezbollah. President Micheal Aoun accuses Saudi Arabia of forcing Hariri to quit. After weeks of uncertainty, Hariri decides to stay on, at least for the time being.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (L) meets Saudi King Salman, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (L) meets Saudi King Salman, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)

November 4

S Arabia arrests princes, dismisses ministers

Saudi Arabia detains 11 princes, four current ministers and tens of former ministers in a probe by a new anti-corruption body headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

November 5

Texas church shooting

Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, walks into Sunday service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in rural Texas and opens fires with a military-style assault rifle, killing at least 26 people. He dies shortly after, following a shootout with two men after fleeing the scene.

November 12

Iran-Iraq earthquake kills more than 500 

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake strikes the border region between Iraq and Iran leaving at least 530 dead and over 70,000 homeless. Most of the victims are Iranians.

November 15

Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board

An Argentine Navy submarine goes missing with 44 crew on board off the coast of Patagonia in the South Atlantic. An international search has since failed to locate the vessel.

November 16

Elon Musk unveils Tesla electric truck

Tesla founder Elon Musk shows off the truck in Los Angeles. The company also announced a new sports car model.

The push for a future of electric and driverless vehicles continues, even as fossil fuels look to make a comeback in the US under President Trump.

Tesla's electric semi truck is unveiled during a presentation in Hawthorne, California, US, November 16, 2017.
Tesla's electric semi truck is unveiled during a presentation in Hawthorne, California, US, November 16, 2017. (Reuters)

November 21

Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe's president

Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe's president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.

People remove Robert Mugabe's portrait from the wall at Harare's International Conference centre following his resignation as president.
People remove Robert Mugabe's portrait from the wall at Harare's International Conference centre following his resignation as president. (AFP)

November 22

Bosnian Serb army commander Mladic convicted of genocide

The International Court of Justice finds former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic guilty of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War. He is sentenced to life in prison.

A Bosnian woman reacts to news of the guilty verdict against former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic, in Potocari, near Srebrenica, Bosnia.
A Bosnian woman reacts to news of the guilty verdict against former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic, in Potocari, near Srebrenica, Bosnia. (AP)

November 24

Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque

Militants launch a bomb and gun attack on the Al Rawdah mosque in Egypt's North Sinai province during Friday prayers, killing 235 people.

December 4 

Yemen's former president Saleh killed

Houthi militants assassinate Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh outside the capital Sanaa. Saleh's death comes after he broke ranks with the Houthis, and publicly called for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition's support.

A Houthi militant in Sanna after the death of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
A Houthi militant in Sanna after the death of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Reuters)

December 5

Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics

Russia is banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang by the International Olympic Committee, following an investigation into state-sponsored doping.

December 6

US recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

US President Donald Trump recognises the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a decision that overturns decades of US policy. The move triggers a fresh wave of protests in the Middle East and around the world.

The UN General Assembly votes 128 to 9 on December 21 condemning the US move.

Palestinians in Jerusalem's Old City watch a televised broadcast of US President Donald Trump announcing US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Palestinians in Jerusalem's Old City watch a televised broadcast of US President Donald Trump announcing US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Reuters)

December 9

Iraqi territories declared free of Daesh

The Iraqi military announces that it has "fully liberated" all of Iraq's territory from Daesh and retaken full control of the Iraqi-Syrian border.

December 17

Bitcoin hits a new record high

The price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars before dropping back below $19,500. Critics say the meteoric rise of the cryptocurrency defies financial reason. In the last week of the year, it had fallen into the $13,000 range.

December 20

US Congress passes overhaul of tax system 

The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives gives final approval to the biggest overhaul of the US tax code in 31 years, with President Trump expected to sign the bill into law before year's end.

A mother sits with her sons while they are treated at a cholera centre in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen. The country’s cholera epidemic could reach 1 million cases by the end of the year.
A mother sits with her sons while they are treated at a cholera centre in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen. The country’s cholera epidemic could reach 1 million cases by the end of the year. (Reuters)

December 21

Yemen's cholera outbreak

The cholera epidemic in Yemen becomes the largest and fastest spreading outbreak of the disease in modern history, with a million cases expected by the end of the year and at least 600,000 children likely to be affected.

The ICRC says the outbreak is "amplifying the suffering of a country caught up in a brutal war." More than 80 percent of Yemenis lack food, fuel, water and access to healthcare, as a Saudi-led coalition battles Houthi rebels.

December 22

Syria peace talks

Talks to end the conflict in Syria are held in Geneva and Astana throughout the year. The UN-brokered talks in Geneva made little headway. The Astana talks sponsored by Turkey, Russia and Iran agreed to de-escalation zones. But the war continues even as the Astana talks wound down for the year on December 22.

Whether 2018 will be remembered as the year peace returned to Syria, now in its seventh year of war, remains to be seen.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies