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SIPRI Yearbook 2016

SIPRI Yearbook 2016

Annex C. Chronology 2015

Annex C. Chronology 2015
SIPRI Yearbook 2016
Ian Davis

This chronology lists the significant events in 2015 related to armaments, disarmament and international security. Keywords are indicated in the right-hand column. For abbreviations, see abbreviations and conventions.

1 Jan.

The Resolute Support Mission, led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), starts in Afghanistan and the Afghan Government assumes full responsibility for security in the whole of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan; NATO

3 Jan.

Boko Haram militants attack Baga and surrounding towns in Borno state, Nigeria. Reports of the number of deaths range from 150 to 2000.

Nigeria; Boko Haram

7–9 Jan.

Gunmen belonging to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula carry out a series of five terrorist attacks across the Île-de-France region, mainly in Paris, killing 17 people and wounding 22. The attacks begin with a massacre at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Al-Qaeda; France

8 Jan.

The Syrian Government alleges that chemical weapons are used against its forces in two neighbourhoods of Damascus, Nubel and al-Zahraa.

Syria; Chemical weapons

15 Jan.

The European Union Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Mission in Mali (EUCAP Sahel Mali) is officially launched.

Mali; EU

18 Jan.

One Iranian general and six Hezbollah fighters are killed during an Israeli air strike on the Syrian section of the Golan Heights, raising tensions between Hezbollah and Israel.

Israel; Hezbollah

20 Jan.

Fighting escalates in Sana’a, Yemen, between Houthi rebels and government troops. The Houthis take control of the presidential compound, sparking fears of a coup.


20 Jan.

A ceasefire in Ukraine ends between separatists and the government in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine; Russia

21 Jan.

France officially ends its peacekeeping mission Operation Licorne in Côte d’Ivoire.

Côte d’Ivoire; France

23 Jan.

North Korea carries out the first flight of a KN 11 SLBM that is under development from a sea-based platform.

North Korea; Missile proliferation

23 Jan.

Islamic State forces are alleged to have used chlorine against Kurdish forces in Iraq (according to a statement by Kurdish authorities dated 14 Mar.).

IS; Iraq; Chemical weapons

23 Jan.

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah dies and his half-brother Crown Prince Salman assumes the throne.

Saudi Arabia

27 Jan.

After 133 days of fierce fighting, the town of Kobane in northern Syria is liberated from IS.

IS; Syria

28 Jan.

A Spanish UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeeper is killed by Israeli artillery near the village of Ghajar, in the Shebaa Farms area of Lebanon.

Lebanon; Israel; UN

30 Jan.

Salih Jasim Muhammed Falah al-Sabawi (also known as Abu Malik), an apparent Iraqi chemical weapon engineer during the regime of Saddam Hussein and a member of IS, is reportedly killed in a US airstrike.

USA; Counter-terrorism

30 Jan.

Sunni militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban kill at least 61 people and seriously injure 50 in a bombing at a Shiite mosque in the Shikarpur District of Pakistan’s Sindh province.

Pakistan; Taliban

4–5 Feb.

Boko Haram militants kill about 90 civilians and wound 500 in ongoing fighting in the border town of Fotokol, Cameroon.

Boko Haram; Cameroon; Nigeria

6 Feb.

The Houthis dissolve Yemen’s Parliament and announce that it will be replaced with a national council, which will form a committee to name a new president.


7 Feb.

Three separate bomb attacks in Baghdad kill at least 36 people and injure at least 70. IS later claims responsibility for the attacks.

Iraq; IS

11–12 Feb.

In Minsk the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany agree to a package of measures to alleviate the ongoing war in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

Russia; Ukraine

15 Feb.

The Syrian Government alleges that chemical weapons are used against its forces in the neighbourhood of Darayya in Damascus.

Syria; Chemical weapons

15 Feb.

IS-aligned militants behead 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who had been kidnapped from Sirte. Egypt responds by launching airstrikes on Derna, a militant stronghold in eastern Libya.

IS; Egypt

24 Feb.

The Global Acceleration Instrument (GAI), a new international financing mechanism, is established by civil society, the UN and member states to help overcome the obstacles to implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

UN; Gender

25 Feb.

In a speech, French President Hollande reaffirms France’s commitment to maintaining an up-to-date nuclear deterrence strike force, consisting of sea- and air-launched components, at a level of ‘strict sufficiency’.

France; Nuclear weapons

27 Feb.

Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov is assassinated, two days before he was due to participate in an anti-Kremlin demonstration.


28 Feb.

Turkish Government ministers and deputies from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party agree a ten-point action plan for peace, at the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul (Dolmabahçe Declaration).

Turkey; Kurds

2 Mar.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, addresses the US Congress and highlights threats posed by Iran to the USA, the Gulf area and the Middle East.

Israel; USA; Iran

2 Mar.

The Iraqi military, aided by Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Iranian troops and advisers, begins a major campaign against IS in Tikrit, Iraq (which IS captured in June 2014).

Iraq; IS

2–9 Mar.

Foreign ministers and senior officials from 31 member states address the Conference on Disarmament (CD), emphasizing the importance of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons.


3 Mar.

The UN Security Council passes Resolution 2206, which imposes sanctions aimed at the main actors in the crisis in South Sudan.

UN; South Sudan

6 Mar.

The UN Statistical Commission creates an Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), to develop an indicator framework for monitoring SDG implementation.


6 Mar.

The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 2209 condemning the use of any toxic chemical in Syria. The resolution does not attribute responsibility.

UN; Syria; Chemical weapons

6 Mar.

Boko Haram pledges allegiance to IS.

Boko Haram; IS

9 Mar.

Pakistan successfully test-fires a longer-range Shaheen III MRBM, which could enable it to strike anywhere in India and reach into the Middle East and parts of southern Europe.

Pakistan; Missile proliferation

9 Mar.

47 Republican senators in the USA sign an open letter to the leaders of Iran suggesting that any nuclear agreement absent legislative approval could be reversed by the next US president.

USA; Iran

15 Mar.

The EU Military Advisory Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) (EUMAM RCA) is replaced by the EU Military Operation in the CAR (EUFOR RCA).


15 Mar.

Russian President Putin says, in a TV documentary, that he was prepared to place nuclear weapons on alert during the Crimea crisis in 2014.

Russia; Nuclear weapons

17 Mar.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his Likud Party win Israeli elections.


18 Mar.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015–30) is adopted at the Third UN World Conference in Sendai, Japan. It is the successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005–15), which was a 10-year plan to reduce disaster risk and losses.

Disaster response

18 Mar.

IS attacks the Bardo National Museum in Tunisia, killing 22 people.

IS; Tunisia

19 Mar.

The first Informal Civil Society Forum is held at the CD, with the aim of facilitating initiatives that could help to address the impasse at the CD through informal interactions among states and civil society representatives.

Civil society; Disarmament

19–20 Mar.

The inaugural meeting of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV) is held in Washington, DC, USA, attended by 26 states and representatives from the EU.

Nuclear disarmament

20 Mar.

Coordinated suicide attacks on Zaydi Shiite mosques in Yemen kill 130 people. An IS affiliate claims responsibility.

IS; Yemen

22 Mar.

The Houthis and army units loyal to ex-President Saleh take control of Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest city.


24 Mar.

The USA announces the postponement of its initial plans to withdraw approximately half of all US forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2015. US troop levels in Afghanistan are frozen at 9800 after a White House meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

USA; Afghanistan

25 Mar.

The USA begins airstrikes against IS positions in Tiktit, Iraq.

IS; Iraq; USA

25 Mar.

Saudi Arabia and Gulf region allies launch military operations and airstrikes in Yemen to counter the Houthis and Saleh forces besieging the southern city of Aden. The Saudi coalition supports the government of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. The battle lasts until July 2015, with a decisive victory for the Hadi/Saudi coalition.

Yemen; Saudi Arabia

28 Mar.

Opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari wins the Nigerian general election, marking the first time that an incumbent president has lost re-election in Nigeria.


30 Mar.

The Arab League approves the concept of a joint Arab military force ‘to confront the challenges to the security and safety of any member state that would pose a direct threat to Arab national security, including terrorist organisations’. Talks are halted in Aug. over disagreement about the objectives and guiding principles of the Joint Arab Force.

Arab League

2 Apr.

Al-Shabab militants attack Garissa University College in north-east Kenya, killing 140 people.

Al-Shabab; Kenya

2 Apr.

The permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany and Iran agree on a detailed, comprehensive framework for confirming that Iran’s nuclear activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes.

Iran; Nuclear programme

8 Apr.

According to reports, the police in Lucknow, India, successfully test drones for the dispersal of pepper spray.

India; UAVs; Non-lethal weapons

9 Apr.

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, meet in Panama City, Cuba. It is the highest-level meeting between the USA and Cuba in more than half a century.

Cuba; USA

10–11 Apr.

The 7th Summit of the Americas is held in Panama City, Cuba, and discusses the central theme of ‘Prosperity with equity: the challenge of cooperation in the Americas’.

Summit of the Americas

14 Apr.

In reaction to the increased fighting and rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen, the UN Security Council imposes an arms embargo against the Houthi–Saleh forces.

UN; Arms embargoes; Yemen

15 Apr.

The G7 Summit is hosted by Germany. Foreign ministers agree on the need to better understand, identify, monitor and address the compound risks associated with climate change.

G7; Climate change

18 Apr.

A suicide bomb attack in Jalalabadin, Afghanistan, kills at least 33 people and injures 100. The attack is carried out by an alleged affiliate with Khorasan Province, a branch of IS.

Afghanistan; IS

19 Apr.

Over 800 migrants are missing and feared dead after a ship capsizes off the Libyan coast.

Refugee crisis

21 Apr.

Saudi Arabia announces that it is halting military attacks against rebel groups in Yemen.

Yemen; Saudi Arabia

22 Apr.

The Saudi-led coalition resumes airstrikes in Yemen.

Yemen; Saudi Arabia

23 Apr.

US President Barack Obama apologizes for a drone strike in Pakistan in January that inadvertently killed a US aid worker and an Italian being held hostage by al-Qaeda.


24 Apr.

The Third Conference of the States Parties and Signatories of Treaties that Establish Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones (NWFZ) and Mongolia convenes in New York, USA.


25 Apr.

An earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale strikes Nepal, with its epicentre in the Lamjung district, causing substantial destruction in 14 of the 75 districts in the country.


27 Apr.

The 2015 NPT Review Conference starts in New York. It ends on 22 May.

NPT Review Conference

27–29 Apr.

The Nigerian Army advances into the Sambisa Forest and frees almost 300 people held hostage by Boko Haram. It also claims to have killed over 400 Boko Haram rebels. By the end of April, nearly 700 hostages are rescued.

Nigeria; Boko Haram

1 May

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mandates a Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) to investigate allegations of chemical weapon use in Syria. The FFM issued three reports in Oct. 2015: two of them were final and the third was an interim report that was subsequently issued in final form in Dec. 2015. The FFM confirms some instances of chemical weapon use.

OPCW; Syria; Chemical weapons

9 May

North Korea states that it has successfully test-fired a Bukkeukseong-1 (‘Polaris-1’) ballistic missile from a submerged submarine at an undisclosed offshore location.

North Korea; Missile proliferation

11 May

Civil unrest in Burundi leads the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to declare a Level 2 emergency and appoint a Regional Refugee Coordinator.


11 May

Civil unrest in Macedonia involving ethnic Albanian insurgents leaves at least 22 people dead.


12 May

A second earthquake hits Nepal, this time 7.2 on the Richter scale, exacerbating the humanitarian situation from the 25 Apr. earthquake.


13 May

Three Taliban gunmen storm the Park Palace guesthouse in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 14 people.


13 May

Eight gunmen attack a bus travelling in Safoora Goth, Karachi, in Pakistan. At least 46 people are killed, all from the Ismaili Shia Muslim minority. The militant group Jundallah claims responsibility for the shooting.


13 May

The European Commission issues its European Agenda on Migration, a policy initiative that revisits the EU’s approach to migration and asylum in the light of the refugee crisis.

EU; Refugees

15 May

A peace agreement is signed between the Government of Mali and members of the Platform coalition of armed groups.


17 May

Ramadi, the capital city of Anbar province in Iraq, falls to IS.

IS; Iraq

18 May

In order to prevent further loss of life at sea and to disrupt the human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Mediterranean, the Council of the European Union approves a Crisis Management Concept for an EU CSDP operation.

EU; Refugees

20 May

The EU adopts a fourth anti-money laundering directive, to ensure that recent recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force are incorporated into EU legislation and to address further risks associated with money laundering and terrorist financing.

EU; Counterterrorism

21 May

IS takes control of Palmyra, a city of 50 000 people in central Syria. It is the first time that IS has seized a large population centre directly from Syrian pro-Government forces.

IS; Syria

22 May

The NPT Review Conference closes in New York without agreement on a concluding document or recommendations, reflecting deep divisions on the modalities for establishing a zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and on achieving complete nuclear disarmament.

NPT Review Conference

29 May

Gunmen hijack a bus in Mastung, Pakistan, killing 22 passengers.


29 May

At a follow-up meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the implementation of Resolution 2178, a range of security, legal and intelligence measures are identified to address the threat of foreign terrorist fighters.

Foreign terrorist fighters

29 May

The annual meeting of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) is held in Vienna, with 63 registered delegations.

HCOC; Missile proliferation

29 May

The USA removes Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

USA; Cuba

3 June

Fighting erupts around the town of Marinka (23 km from Donetsk), which is controlled by the Ukrainian Government. OSCE observers note the movement of a large amount of heavy weapons in areas controlled by the Donetsk People’s Republic.


4 June

United National Liberation Front of Western Southeast Asia (UNLFW) forces kill 18 Indian soldiers.


4–5 June

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) holds its plenary meeting in Bariloche, Argentina, with the 48 participating states, plus the European Commission and the chair of the Zangger Committee.


5 June

The plenary meeting of the Australia Group (AG) takes place in Perth, Australia, on its 30th anniversary, with 41 participating states plus the EU.


6–7 June

The Ukraine crisis, climate change and the Greek economy dominate the G7 Summit agenda in Germany.

G7 Summit

7 June

A general election in Turkey results in the first hung parliament since the 1999 general election.


10 June

US President Barack Obama authorizes the deployment of 450 US advisers to Iraq to help train Iraqi forces.

Iraq; USA

10 June

The EU adopts a renewed internal security strategy that establishes priority work areas for the five-year policy cycle, 2015–20.

EU; Internal security

16 June

Russia announces that it will modernize its ICBMs with 40 new missiles this year.

Russia; Nuclear weapons

17 June

The High-level Independent Panel on UN Peace Operations (HIPPO) issues a report entitled Uniting Our Strengths for Peace: Politics, Partnership and People.

UN; Peacekeeping

18 June

The UN Security Council publishes a report from the Secretary-General on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.


20 June

An alliance of Tuareg-led rebels and the Malian Government sign a peace agreement that had already been signed in May by other parties to the conflict.


22 June

The EU Naval Force Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED, Operation Sophia) is launched to implement the EU Council decision of 18 May.

EU; Refugee crisis

25 June

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP) presents the results of a strategic review of EU foreign and security policy to the European Council.

EU; Security policy

25–28 June

A combination of suicide missions and attacks on Kurdish civilians by IS in the city of Kobane, Syria, result in about 230 civilian deaths.

Syria; IS

26 June

An attack by IS at a tourist resort near the city of Sousse, Tunisia, leaves 38 people dead.

IS; Tunisia

28 June

IS militants reportedly employ ‘makeshift chemical projectiles’ against Kurdish military units in Hasakah City and Tal Brak in Syria.

IS; Syria; Chemical weapons

29 June

The 2015 Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture is published by the Secretary-General’s Advisory Group of Experts.

UN; Peacebuilding

29 June

The UN Security Council adopts Resolutions 2227 and 2228, extending the mandates of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the African Union/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in Sudan, respectively, until 30 June 2016.

UN; Peacekeeping; Mali; Sudan

1 July

Cuba and the USA reach an agreement to open embassies in Washington, DC, and Havana.

Cuba; USA

1–2 July

Boko Haram militants attack multiple mosques in Nigeria killing around 145 people.

Boko Haram; Nigeria

5 July

In a referendum, 61 per cent of voters back the call of Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, to vote ‘no’ on the proposed budget cuts by creditors in return for loans needed by Greece.


13–16 July

The Third International Conference on Financing for Development is held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where heads of state and government and high representatives agree a global framework for financing development.

Development; Finance

14 July

Iran and the E3/EU+3 sign the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran agree a work plan (Road Map) to clarify the nature of past possible military dimensions and to confirm that Iran’s nuclear activities are for exclusively peaceful purposes.

Iran; Nuclear deal

16 July

The lower house of Japan’s Parliament approves legislation that will permit the country’s military to participate in foreign conflicts in a limited capacity for the first time since World War II, prompting a number of public protests.


17 July

A suicide car bombing in the Iraqi city of Khan Bani Saad kills approximately 130 people, with a similar number injured. IS claims responsibility for the attack.

Iraq; IS

20 July

The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 2231, which endorses the JCPOA and its implementation, as appropriate, by all UN member states and international and regional organizations.

UN; Iran; Nuclear deal

20 July

The Council of the European Union publishes the final outcome document from the review process of the 2008 EU Common Position defining rules governing exports of military technology and equipment.

EU; Export controls

21 July

President Pierre Nkurunziza wins re-election in Burundi despite disagreement over whether he was eligible to run for a third term. The opposition boycotts the vote.


29 July

Afghanistan’s intelligence agency announces that Mullah Muhammad Omar, the founder and leader of the Taliban, died in 2013 in Pakistan.


7 Aug.

A series of bombings attributed to the Taliban in central Kabul, Afghanistan, cause approximately 50 deaths and several hundred injuries.


7 Aug.

In an attempt to achieve clarity on the issue of attribution of responsibility for allegations of chemical weapon use in Syria, the UN Security Council establishes an OPCW–UN Joint Investigative Mechanism.

UN; Syria; Chemical weapons

10–14 Aug.

A Meeting of Experts is held as part of the third intersessional process of the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), discussing ways to maintain and strengthen treaty compliance.


13 Aug.

A truck bomb is detonated in Sadr City, Iraq, killing at least 76 people and injuring at least 212. IS claims responsibility for the attack.

Iraq; IS

14 Aug.

The Director of the IAEA, General Yukiya Amano, circulates his report on verification and monitoring in Iran in light of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 to the IAEA Board of Governors.

IAEA; Iran

17 Aug.

A bomb explodes inside Erawan Shrine, a popular site for tourists in Bangkok, Thailand, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 120. No group claims responsibility for the attack.

Thailand; Terrorism

18 Aug.

Finland announces that it has destroyed the last of its anti-personnel mines in accordance with the Ottawa Convention that it acceded to in 2012.

Finland; APMs

19–20 Aug.

The German Parliament votes on and approves a third loan for Greece worth $95.6 billion over three years. The Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, resigns.

Germany; Greece

21 Aug.

There are allegations of chemical weapon use in Marea, Syria (also on 1 and 4 Sep.).

Syria; Chemical weapons

22 Aug.

At least 10 people die and more than 60 are wounded in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul.


24 Aug.

IS destroys or damages antiquities, including the Temple of Baalshamin, in Palmyra, Syria.

IS; Syria

24–27 Aug.

The First Conference of States Parties (CSP1) to the Arms Trade Treaty takes place in Cancun, Mexico, attended by 119 states.


26 Aug.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir signs a peace agreement following earlier signings by the other parties to the conflict. However, large-scale killings and violence against civilians continue.

South Sudan

28–30 Aug.

The bodies of 71 migrants are found inside an abandoned lorry in Austria, near the Hungarian border. Two days later Austria reintroduces controls on its eastern Schengen borders.

EU; Refugees

31 Aug.

Ukraine’s Parliament passes a constitutional reform bill prompting protests that leave three policemen dead.


2 Sep.

China announces that it will reduce the country’s military personnel by 300 000.


10 Sep.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that there is no legal limit to the number of people fleeing political persecution that Germany can shelter.

Germany; Refugee crisis

12 Sep.

EU defence ministers agree to launch the second phase of the EU Naval Force Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED, Operation Sofia), which will include targeting the boats of people smugglers.

EU; Refugee crisis

13 Sep.

Germany introduces emergency border controls to stem the flow of migrants into the country.

Germany; Refugee crisis

14 Sep.

Canada launches Operation Unifier, a training support mission with the deployment of approximately 200 army personnel to Ukraine until Mar. 2017.

Canada; Ukraine

14 Sep.

EU member states agree on the first of two European Council decisions (the other on 22 Sep.) to relocate 160 000 refugees from the frontline countries of Italy and Greece to other member states over a period of two years.

EU; Refugees

15 Sep.

The border between Hungary and Serbia is closed to prevent migrants from entering the EU.

EU; Refugees

15 Sep.

The UN Secretary-General appoints Virginia Gamba (Argentina) to head the Joint Investigative Mechanism investigating allegations of chemical weapon use in Syria.

Syria; Chemical weapons

17 Sep.

Mozambique is declared free of anti-personnel mines after 20 years of clearance work to remove about 171 000 landmines.

Mozambique; Landmines

21 Sep.

At least 54 people are killed in three explosions in the city of Maiduguri, Nigeria. Boko Haram is blamed for the attack.

Boko Haram; Nigeria

23 Sep.

The Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias Colombianas, FARC) agree to set a deadline of six months to reach a final truce, by 23 Mar. 2016.

Colombia; FARC

25 Sep.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is adopted by UN member states. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets are a more complex and ambitious successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expire at the end of 2015.

Sustainable development

25 Sep.

China announces a commitment to start a national programme in 2017 that will limit and price greenhouse gas emissions.

China; Climate change

25 Sep.

US and Chinese officials conclude a cybersecurity agreement that calls for cooperation on cybercrime. The parties also undertake not to engage in cyber-enabled economic espionage against each other.

China; USA; Cybersecurity

27 Sep.

Russia agrees to share intelligence on IS with Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Russia; IS

28 Sep.

Taliban fighters take control of the city of Kunduz, a provincial capital in northern Afghanistan.


30 Sep.

Russia launches an air campaign against IS and other rebel forces opposed to the Syrian Government.

Syria; Russia

1–15 Oct.

Violent clashes kill 32 Palestinians and 7 Israelis.

Israel; Palestine

3 Oct.

US aircraft attack a hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Kunduz, Afghanistan, and kill 42 patients and staff.

USA; Afghanistan

5 Oct.

The USA, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim states agree on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Trans-Pacific Partnership

6 Oct.

The Botticelli Project, an industry-led network of associations and major exporting companies, is launched in Brussels with the aim of contributing to improved strategic trade control regimes.

Export controls

9 Oct.

The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 2240 authorizing member states to intercept vessels off the Libyan coast suspected of migrant smuggling.

UN; Refugee crisis

9 Oct.

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) holds its 29th plenary meeting in Rotterdam, with the Netherlands and Luxembourg jointly assuming the rotating chair.


10 Oct.

Two separate explosions kill 103 people during a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey. The identity of the perpetrators is unclear, although links to IS are strongly suspected.

Turkey; Terrorism

10 Oct.

Iran test-fires a ballistic missile that the USA deems to be in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929.

Iran; USA; Missile proliferation

13 Oct.

Iran’s Parliament approves the JCPOA by a vote of 161 in favour, 59 against and 13 abstentions.

Iran; Nuclear deal

13 Oct.

The Netherlands safety board releases its report into the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17. It concludes that a Buk-anti-aircraft missile brought down the aircraft and was probably fired from Ukrainian territory under rebel control.


13–14 Oct.

To mark the 15th anniversary of Resolution 1325, the UN Security Council holds a High-level Review of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and presents the Global Study on the Implementation of UN Security Resolution 1325. The UN Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 2242, with the aim of improving implementation of its landmark WPS agenda.

UN; Gender

14 Oct.

France’s Ministry of Defence organizes a high-level conference on climate change and security, bringing together a large number of defence ministers, in particular from countries affected by climate change and fragility.

France; Climate change

15 Oct.

US President Barack Obama announces that 5500 US troops will remain in Afghanistan until at least 2017.

USA; Afghanistan

16 Oct.

India aborts a flight test of its Nirbhay subsonic ground-launched cruise missile after the missile’s guidance system fails.

India; Missile proliferation

17 Oct.

Egyptian parliamentary elections are held (in two phases until 2 Dec.), but with a low turnout of around 10 per cent following calls for boycotts from opposition movements.


18 Oct.

The JCPOA enters into force on adoption day, 90 days after its endorsement by the UN Security Council.

Iran; Nuclear deal

19 Oct.

The Joint Commission established under the JCPOA holds its first meeting at the Political Director level of the JCPOA participating countries.

Iran; Nuclear deal

20 Oct.

Uganda announces the withdrawal of its troops supporting the South Sudanese Government.

Uganda; South Sudan

21 Oct.

At a meeting of the UN Security Council, France, Germany, the UK and the USA call on the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee on Iran to investigate Iran’s missile tests.

UN; Iran; Missile proliferation

24 Oct.

The United Nations marks its 70th anniversary.


25 Oct.

Presidential elections in Côte d’Ivoire are won by incumbent Alassane Ouattara in a landslide victory.

Côte d’Ivoire

26 Oct.

The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheik Ahmed, announces preparations for talks between the conflict parties.


26 Oct.

Aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition destroy a MSF hospital in Saada, Yemen. There are no casualties.

Saudi Arabia; Yemen

27 Oct.

The US Air Force awards a contract to develop the next-generation long-range nuclear bomber, known as B-21.

USA; Nuclear weapons

29 Oct.

The OPCW releases its report on the investigation of allegations of chemical weapon use in the Idlib Governate of Syria between 16 March and 20 May 2015.

OPCW; Syria; Chemical weapons

29 Oct.

The EU suspends some of its sanctions on specific persons and entities in Belarus for four months.

EU sanctions; Belarus

30 Oct.

The first round of Syrian peace talks is held in Vienna, Austria, with the foreign ministers of 20 countries participating.

Syria; Peace talks

31 Oct.

An Egyptian IS affiliate says it has downed a Russian passenger plane with a bomb, killing all 224 on board.

IS; Egypt

1 Nov.

Turkey holds a snap general election following unsuccessful attempts to form a coalition government after the 7 June general election. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) regains its absolute parliamentary majority.

Elections; Turkey

2–3 Nov.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry organizes the first international Planetary Security Conference, entitled ‘Planetary security: peace and cooperation in times of climate change and global environmental challenges’, and commits to making it an annual event to provide a forum for experts, policymakers and practitioners.

The Netherlands; Climate change

4 Nov.

The presidents of Taiwan and China meet for the first time since 1949.

China; Taiwan

8 Nov.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy wins a landslide victory in Myanmar after general elections. It is the first national vote since a nominally civilian government was introduced in 2011, ending nearly 50 years of military rule.


13 Nov.

At least 129 people are killed in a series of attacks around Paris coordinated by IS.

IS; France

13 Nov.

The OPCW–UN Joint Investigative Mechanism, which comprises 24 experts and will investigate allegations of chemical weapon use in Syria, becomes fully operational and will operate for 12 months.

OPCW; UN; Syria; Chemical weapons

14 Nov.

The second round of Syrian peace talks in Vienna, Austria, produce an agreement on the need to convene Syrian Government and opposition representatives in formal negotiations under UN auspices on 1 Jan. 2016.

Syria; Peace talks

15 Nov.

France carries out airstrikes against the city of Raqqa, Syria, in retaliation for the attacks in Paris two days earlier.

IS; France

15–16 Nov.

The tenth annual meeting of the G-20 heads of government is held in Antalya, Turkey.

G-20 Summit

16–18 Nov.

The second meeting of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV) is held in Oslo.

Nuclear disarmament

18–19 Nov.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit is held in Manila, the Philippines, and focuses on building inclusive economies and the recent terrorist attacks.

APEC Summit

19 Nov.

India test-launches its two-stage Agni-IV missile, which incorporates several technological advances, including composite rocket engines, improved stage separation and a state-of-the-art navigational system.

India; Missile proliferation

20 Nov.

The European Commission tables proposals for tightening controls on the acquisition and possession of firearms and for common minimum standards on the deactivation of firearms.

EU; Firearms

20 Nov.

The Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, is attacked, leaving at least 27 people dead. Al-Mourabitoun claims responsibility for the attack.


21 Nov.

Iran test-fires a ballistic missile that the USA deems to be in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929.

Iran; USA; Missile proliferation

24 Nov.

Russian–Turkish relations deteriorate after Turkey downs a Russian SU-24 that had strayed into Turkish airspace.

Russia; Turkey

24 Nov.

The IAEA and Iran hold a ‘wrap-up technical meeting’ in Vienna.

IAEA; Iran

28 Nov.

South Korea reports that North Korea has unsuccessfully conducted an underwater launch test of a KN-11 missile from its sole Sinpo class experimental submarine.

North Korea; Missile proliferation

29 Nov.

Roch Marc Kaboré, the former prime minister of Burkina Faso, wins the nation’s first presidential election since a 2014 government takeover.

Burkina Faso

29 Nov.

Turkey and the EU reach agreement on a deal to limit refugee flows. In return for $3 billion and political concessions, Turkey will strengthen its borders and prevent refugee flows.

EU; Turkey; Refugee flows

30 Nov.

The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commences in Paris.

Climate Summit

30 Nov.‑4 Dec.

The 20th Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is held in The Hague, the Netherlands. It evaluates Syria’s compliance with the CWC, including the implications of the fact-finding mission reports on allegations of chemical weapons in Syria.

CWC; Syria

30 Nov.‑4 Dec.

The 14th meeting of States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Convention takes place in Geneva. The meeting granted extensions of deadlines for the destruction of antipersonnel mines (APMs) to Cyprus, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal.


2 Dec.

The European Commission issues an Action Plan on the illicit trafficking of firearms and the use of explosives, which proposes measures to assist in the detection, investigation and seizure of firearms, explosives and explosives precursors to be used for criminal and terrorist purposes.

EU; Firearms

2 Dec.

The IAEA issues its final assessment of the allegations of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme. On 15 Dec. the IAEA Board of Governors adopts a resolution by consensus welcoming the conclusions.

IAEA; Iran

2–3 Dec.

The annual plenary of the Wassenaar Arrangement is held in Vienna, Austria, with Spain holding the rotating chair.

Wassenaar Arrangement

3 Dec.

After a parliamentary vote, the UK expands the scope of its combat operations aimed at IS in Syria.

UK; Syria; IS

7 Dec.

Prospective Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump calls for the USA to bar all Muslims from entering the country.


7 Dec.

India and Pakistan agree to resume high-level peace talks after a stalemate of three years, following a meeting of their national security advisers in Bangkok, Thailand.

India; Pakistan

8 Dec.

Several Taliban suicide bombers penetrate the security of Kandahar Airfield and battle with Afghan soldiers. 50 civilians and members of the security forces are killed, along with 11 attackers.


10 Dec.

A two-day meeting starts in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with the aim of unifying Syria’s opposition groups and forming an opposition delegation for the planned negotiations with the Syrian Government.

Saudi Arabia; Syria; Peace talks

11 Dec.

Taliban militants detonate a car bomb and storm a guesthouse near the Spanish embassy in the Shirpour district of Kabul, Afghanistan. Nine people are killed in the attack.


12 Dec.

At the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21), 195 countries adopt the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal, due to enter into force in 2020. An action plan aims to limit global warming to under 2°C.

Climate Agreement

12 Dec.

Saudi Arabia holds elections for municipal councils, which have limited decision-making powers on local issues. This is the first time that women are permitted to vote and hold office.

Saudi Arabia; Gender

14 Dec.

The EU revives Turkey’s membership bid and launches accession talks with Serbia.

EU; Turkey; Serbia

15 Dec.

The European Commission proposes an amendment to the Schengen Borders Code that would oblige EU member states to carry out systematic checks on all persons, including EU citizens, against databases of lost and stolen travel documents.

EU; Counterterrorism

15 Dec.

34 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) establish an alliance led by Saudi Arabia to coordinate and support counterterrorism operations.

Saudi Arabia; OIC; Counterterrorism

15 Dec.

The chair of the UN Security Council’s 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee states that the 21 Nov. missile launch by Iran was in violation of Security Council Resolution 1929. The finding is rejected by Iran and Russia.

UN; Iran; Missile proliferation

17 Dec.

Following the outbreak of violence in Bujumbura, Burundi, the African Union (AU) authorizes the deployment of the African Prevention and Protection Mission in Burundi (MAPROBU), a 5000-strong force.

Burundi; AU

17 Dec.

The representatives of Libya’s two rival governments, the internationally recognized General National Congress (GNC) and the House of Representatives (HOR), sign a political agreement. The GNC and the HOR agree to form a Presidential Council, which in turn will establish a Government of National Accord (GNA).


18 Dec.

The UN Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 2254 calling for a ceasefire and a political settlement in Syria. The resolution envisages the formation of a unity government and calls for an immediate halt to attacks on civilian targets.

UN; Syria

21 Dec.

North Korea unsuccessfully conducts a third ejection test of a submarine-launched missile, most likely from a submersible barge.

North Korea; Missile proliferation

21 Dec.

The EU votes to extend the EU arms embargo against Russia until at least 31 July 2016.

EU; Arms embargoes; Russia

21 Dec.

A suicide bomber kills six NATO soldiers in Bagram, Afghanistan.

Afghanistan; NATO

31 Dec.

President Putin signs a new Russian National Security Strategy that identifies the USA and NATO as threats to Russia’s security.

Russia; NATO

Citation (MLA):
Davis, Ian. "Annex C. Chronology 2015." SIPRI Yearbook. SIPRI. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2016. Web. 2 Dec. 2023. <https://www.sipriyearbook.org/view/9780198787280/sipri-9780198787280-chapter-022.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Davis, I. (2016). Annex C. Chronology 2015. In SIPRI, SIPRI Yearbook 2016: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2 Dec. 2023, from https://www.sipriyearbook.org/view/9780198787280/sipri-9780198787280-chapter-022.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Davis, Ian. "Annex C. Chronology 2015." In SIPRI Yearbook 2016: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, SIPRI. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). Retrieved 2 Dec. 2023, from https://www.sipriyearbook.org/view/9780198787280/sipri-9780198787280-chapter-022.xml
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