sovereign state in western Asia
(Redirected from Syrian Arab Republic)

35°N 38°E / 35°N 38°E / 35; 38

Syrian Arab Republic
ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ (Arabic)
al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah
Coat of arms of Syria
Coat of arms
Motto: وَحْدَةٌ ، حُرِّيَّةٌ ، اِشْتِرَاكِيَّةٌ
Waḥdah, Ḥurrīyah, Ishtirākīyah
("Unity, Freedom, Socialism")
Anthem: حُمَاةَ الدِّيَارِ
Ḥumāt ad-Diyār
("Guardians of the Homeland")

Location of  Syria  (green)
and largest city
33°30′N 36°18′E / 33.500°N 36.300°E / 33.500; 36.300
Official languagesArabic[1]
Recognised languages
  • Kurdish
  • Armenian
  • Syriac
  • Circassian
  • Aramaic
  • Turkish
  • French
  • English
  • Azerbaijani
Ethnic groups
90% Arab
10% Other
87% Islam
10% Christianity[3]
3% Druze[4]
GovernmentUnitary dominant-party semi-presidential Ba’athist republic under an authoritarian hereditary dictatorship[5]
• 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[6] km2 (71,500 sq mi) (87th)
• Water (%)
• 2020 estimate
17,500,657 (66th)
• 2010 census
• Density
118.3/km2 (306.4/sq mi) (70th)
GDP (PPP)2015 estimate
• Total
$50.28 billion[3]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2014 estimate
• Total
$24.6 billion[3] (167)
• Per capita
Gini (2014)55.8[7]
HDI (2019)Increase 0.567[8]
medium · 151st
CurrencySyrian pound (SYP)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
• Summer (DST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+963
ISO 3166 codeSY

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 and it shares a maritime border with Cyprus. 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 Shia, 10% Christian, 3% Druze, 1% Ismaili Shia 0.4% Twelver Shia, and 0.1% Yazidi.[9]



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 took 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.[10]

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 2011 with the Arab Spring a bloody civil war began against President Bashar al-Assad.

Kurdish people control a small part of the northern region called Rojava.

It is also known as Western Kurdistan.



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.[11] 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.[11] It does not make Islam the state religion. According to the 2012 constitution, the president is elected by the 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.[12]

Human rights


Syria's human rights are among the worst in the world, according to human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch.[13] 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. Ethnic Kurds have their own army called YPG. The Males must go in the military when they are age 18.[14]



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.[15] Most Syrian cargo is carried by Chemins de Fer Syriens, the Syrian railway company.


Population in Syria[16][17]
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.



  1. "Constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic – 2012" (PDF). International Labour Organization. International Labour Organization. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  2. "Syria". CIA World factbook. CIA. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. {{cite web}}: |archive-date= / |archive-url= timestamp mismatch; 24 June 2014 suggested (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Syria". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  4. "Syria: Ethnic Shift, 2010–mid 2018". Columbia University Gulf2000. 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  5. "Constitution of Syria 2012". Scribd. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  6. "Syrian ministry of foreign affairs". Archived from the original on 11 May 2012.
  7. "World Bank GINI index". World Bank. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  8. Human Development Report 2020 The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 15 December 2020. pp. 343–346. ISBN 978-92-1-126442-5. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  9. "Religion in Syria - 1943 Syrian Census". Retrieved 8 January 2024.
  10. "Report of the Commission Entrusted by the Council with the Study of the Frontier between Syria and Iraq". World Digital Library. 1932. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Constitution of Syria". Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  12. "Freedom House report on Syria (2010)" (PDF). Freedom House. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  13. "Syria among worst for rights abuses: HRW report". Reuters. 24 January 2011. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  14. Syria – Overview. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  15. "Syria – travel guides at Wikivoyage". Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  16. CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion Archived 2009-10-12 at the Wayback Machine Population 1971–2008 IEA pdf Archived 2012-01-06 at the Wayback Machine pages 83–85
  17. "UNData app". Retrieved 29 March 2022.