Dialing code +963
ISO 2 code SY
ISO 3 code SYR
Capital Damascus
Main Language Arabic
Currency Pound (SYP)
GDP $95.4 billion 65th
Population 22,198,110 51st


Continent Asia
Location Middle East bordering the Mediterranean Sea between Lebanon and Turkey
Land 185,180 km2 89th
Terrain Primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west
Climate Mostly desert; hot dry sunny summers (June to August) and mild rainy winters (December to February) along coast; cold weather with snow or sleet periodically in Damascus
Natural Hazards Primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west
Note: There are 42 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (August 2005 est.)

Neighbouring Countries

Iraq Israel Jordan Lebanon Turkey


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 Syrian troops - stationed in Lebanon since 1976 in an ostensible peacekeeping role - were withdrawn in April 2005.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.
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Life Expectancy 71.19 years 118th
Median Age 21.7 years 146th
Birth Rate 25.9 births/1,000 population 60th
Death Rate 4.61 births/1,000 population 184th
Sex Ratio 0.89 male(s)/female 42nd
Literacy 79.6% 147th

22.2 million


Roadways 97401 km 42nd
Railways 2052 km 71st
Airports 101 58th
Waterways 900 km 67th
Heliports 7 24th
Airports paved 2 76th


Currency Pound (SYP)
GDP $95.4 billion 65th
GDP per capita (PPP) $4800 129th