The civil uprising prior to the Syrian Civil War was an early stage of protests – with subsequent violent reaction by the Syrian state – lasting from March to 28 July 2011. The uprising, initially demanding democratic reforms, evolved from initially minor protests, beginning as early as January 2011.
The uprising was marked by massive anti-government opposition demonstrations against the Ba'athist government of Bashar al-Assad, meeting with police and military violence, massive arrests and brutal crackdown, resulting in hundreds of casualties and thousands of wounded. Other non-western narratives describe militants firing on police and security forces during peaceful protests as part of foreign sponsored insurrections.
Despite Bashar al-Assad's attempts to pacify the protests with massive crackdown and use of censorship on one hand and concessions on the other, by the end of April, it became clear the situation was getting out of his control and the Syrian government deployed numerous troops on the ground.
The civil uprising phase created the platform for emergence of militant opposition movements and massive defections from the Syrian Army, which gradually transformed the conflict from a civil uprising to an armed rebellion, and later a civil war. The rebel Free Syrian Army was created on July 29, 2011.