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Coordinates: 35°N 38°E / 35°N 38°E / 35; 38

Syrian Arab Republic

الجمهورية العربية السورية
al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah
Flag of Syria
Syria (orthographic projection).svg
Location of  Syria  (green)
Syria - Location Map (2013) - SYR - UNOCHA.svg
and largest city
33°30′N 36°18′E / 33.5°N 36.3°E / 33.5; 36.3
Official languagesArabic
Ethnic groups
87% Islam
10% Christianity[1]
3% Druzism[2]
GovernmentUnitary dominant-party semi-presidential Ba’athist republic[3]
• President
Bashar al-Assad
Hussein Arnous
Hammouda Sabbagh
LegislaturePeople's Council
8 March 1920
1 December 1924
14 May 1930
• De jure Independence
24 October 1945
• De facto Independence
17 April 1946
• Left the United Arab Republic
28 September 1961
8 March 1963
27 February 2012
• Total
185,180[4] km2 (71,500 sq mi) (87th)
• Water (%)
• 2020 estimate
Decrease 17,500,657 (66th)
• 2010 census
• Density
118.3/km2 (306.4/sq mi) (70th)
GDP (PPP)2015 estimate
• Total
$50.28 billion[5]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2014 estimate
• Total
$24.6 billion[5] (167)
• Per capita
Gini (2014)55.8[6]
HDI (2018)Increase 0.549[7]
low · 154th
CurrencySyrian pound (SYP)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
• Summer (DST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+963
ISO 3166 codeSY
A map of Syria

Syria is a country in the Middle East, the west part of Asia. It borders (from south to north) on Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey. Its western part faces the Mediterranean Sea. Its eastern and northern parts are mountainous.

The current president and head of state is Bashar al-Assad. Syria's national capital is Damascus. The biggest city is Aleppo. The Syrian civil war began in 2011.

The population of Syria is 74% Sunni, 12% Alawi, 10% Christian.


Syria has a very long history. It was a land of Phoenicians. Later it became part of the Achaemenid Empire, Roman Empire, and then the Eastern Roman Empire. In those days people spoke the Syriac language. The city Antioch was great and one of the important cities in Christendom. The Umayyad Caliphate control of Syria in the 7th century. In this Arab Empire people began to speak the Arabic language. Today most Syrian people believe in Islam but there are still Christians too.

When World War I started, the Ottoman Empire ruled Syria and many other places. When it ended, France controlled Lebanon and Syria. Britain had Iraq, Jordan and Palestine. They drew a border between Iraq and Syria in 1920. France controlled Syria until 1946 when Syria became its own country.[8]

Syria was part of the United Arab Republic with Egypt in 1958-1961. Syria had some wars with Israel and some territories like the Golan Plateau were occupied by Israel.

The line in the middle of this map is the border drawn in 1920 separating Iraq and Syria.

In 2012 with the Arab Spring a bloody civil war began against President Bashar al-Assad.


Syria is between latitudes 32° and 38° N, and longitudes 35° and 43° E. It is mostly arid plateau. The area bordering the Mediterranean is fairly green. The Euphrates, Syria's most important river, crosses the country in the east.

The climate in Syria is dry and hot. Winters are mild.

Politics and government

Syria is a republic. The old Constitution of Syria was started on 13 March 1971.[9] It made Syria as a secular socialist state. Islam was the majority religion. A new constitution has been in place since 2012.

Branches of government

The executive branch is the president, two vice presidents, the prime minister, and the Council of Ministers. The constitution says the president must be a Muslim.[9] It does not make Islam the state religion. According to the 2012 constitution, the president is elected by Syrian people in a direct election.

The People's Council is the legislative branch.

State control

Nearly all of Syria’s radio and television outlets are state owned. The Ba'ath Party controls nearly all newspapers.[10]

Human rights

Syria's human rights are among the worst in the world, according to human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch.[11] The authorities arrest democracy and human rights activists, censor websites, detain bloggers, and have travel bans.


Syria has fourteen Governorates, or muhafazat. The governorates are divided into sixty districts. The governorates are:


The President of Syria is commander in chief of the Syrian armed forces. There are about 400,000 troops. Males must go in the military when they are age 18.[12]


Syria is a middle-income country. The economy is based on agriculture, oil, industry, and tourism.


Syria has three international airports (Damascus, Aleppo and Lattakia). They are hubs for Syrian Air. Foreign airlines also fly to them.[13] Most Syrian cargo is carried by Chemins de Fer Syriens, the Syrian railway company.


Population in Syria[14][15]
Year Million
1971 6.6
1990 12.7
2009 21.9
Source: OECD/World Bank/UNO

Most people live in the Euphrates valley and along the coastal plain, a fertile strip between the coastal mountains and the desert.

Education is free from ages 6 to 12. All children this age must attend school.


The most popular sports in Syria are football, basketball, swimming, and tennis. Damascus was home to the fifth and seventh Pan Arab Games. Many popular football teams are based in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, and Latakia.

Related pages


  1. "CIA World Factbook". Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  2. "Syria: Ethnic Shift, 2010–mid 2018". Columbia University Gulf2000. 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  3. "Constitution of Syria 2012". Scribd. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  4. "Syrian ministry of foreign affairs".
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Syria". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  6. "World Bank GINI index". World Bank. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  7. "Human Development Report 2019" (in en) (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 10 December 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  8. "Report of the Commission Entrusted by the Council with the Study of the Frontier between Syria and Iraq". 1932. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Constitution of Syria". Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  10. "Freedom House report on Syria (2010)". Freedom House.
  11. "Syria among worst for rights abuses: HRW report". Reuters. 2011-01-24.
  12. Syria – Overview. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  13. "Syria – travel guides at Wikivoyage". Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  14. CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion Population 1971–2008 IEA pdf pages 83–85
  15. Arab Republic "UNdata". Profiles of World Countries as per UNO information. UNO. Arab Republic. Retrieved April 14 2012.