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Following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, France administered Syria until its independence in 1946. The country lacked political stability, however, and experienced a series of military coups during its first decades. Syria united with Egypt in February 1958 to form the United Arab Republic. In September 1961, the two entities separated, and the Syrian Arab Republic was reestablished. In November 1970, Hafiz al-ASAD, a member of the Socialist Ba'th Party and the minority Alawite sect, seized power in a bloodless coup and brought political stability to the country. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel. During the 1990s, Syria and Israel held occasional peace talks over its return. Following the death of President al-ASAD, his son, Bashar al-ASAD, was approved as president by popular referendum in July 2000. Syrian troops - stationed in Lebanon since 1976 in an ostensible peacekeeping role - were withdrawn in April 2005. During the July-August 2006 conflict between Israel and Hizballah, Syria placed its military forces on alert but did not intervene directly on behalf of its ally Hizballah.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 19,314,747

Nationality (Noun): Syrian(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Syrian

Official Language(s): Arabic

Major Languages Spoken: Aramaic, Armenian, English, French, Kurdish

Map of Syria

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Syrian Arab Republic

Country Name (short form): Syria

Country Name (local long form): Al Jumhuriyah al Arabiyah as Suriyah

Country Name (local short form): Suriyah

Name of Capital: Damascus

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Syria: Turkey, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Cyprus

Land Area: 184050 sq km

Water Area: 1130 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly larger than North Dakota

Total Land Boundry: 2,253 km

Coastline: 193 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 17 April (1946)

International Phone Code: 963

Currency Code: Syrian pound (SYP)

Internet Country Code: .sy

US Embassy Location: Abou Roumaneh, Al-Mansour Street, No. 2, Damascus

US Embassy Mailing Address: P. O. Box 29, Damascus


Syria flag

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