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Syrian Arab Republic
{{safesubst:#invoke:Separated entries|br}}
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: "حماة الديار"{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} (language?)
Humat ad-Diyar
Guardians of the Homeland
CapitalDamascus
{{#invoke:Coordinates|coord}}{{#coordinates:33|30|N|36|18|E|type:city||

| |name=

}}
Largest city Aleppo
Official languages Arabic
Government Unitary dominant-party
semi-presidential republic<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

|CitationClass=web

}}</ref>Unknown extension tag "ref"
 -  President Bashar al-Assad
 -  Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi
 -  Speaker of the People's Council Mohammad Jihad al-Laham
Legislature People's Council
Establishment
 -  Proclamation of Arab Kingdom of Syria 8 March 1920 
 -  State of Syria established under French Mandate 1 December 1924 
 -  Syrian Republic established by merger of States of Jabal Druze, Alawites and Syria 1930 
 -  Independence (Joined UN / French Mandate ended) 24 October 1945 
 -  Last French troops leave 17 April 1946 
 -  Secession from the
United Arab Republic
28 September 1961 
 -  Ba'ath party takes power 8 March 1963 
Area
 -  Total 185,180<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

|CitationClass=web

}}</ref> km2 (89th)
71,479 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 1.1
Population
 -  July 2014 estimate 17,951,639 (2014 est.)<ref name="CIA - TWF">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

|CitationClass=web

}}</ref> (54th)
 -  Density 118.3/km2 (101st)
306.5/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 -  Total {{{1}}}
 -  Per capita $5,040<ref name="CIA" />
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 -  Total {{{1}}}
 -  Per capita $2,802<ref name="CIA" />
Gini (2014)55.8<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

|CitationClass=web

}}</ref>
high
HDI (2015)Decrease 0.343<ref name="HDI">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

|CitationClass=web

}}</ref>
low · 166th
Currency Syrian pound (SYP)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Drives on the right
Calling code +963
ISO 3166 code SY
Internet TLD .sy, سوريا.
Unknown extension tag "references"

Syria ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}; Arabic: سوريا‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} or سورية{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, Sūriyā or Sūrīyah), officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia. De jure Syrian territory borders Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest, but the government's control now extends to approximately 30–40% of the de jure state area and less than 60% of the population.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}.</ref>

A country of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians,{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} Mandeans<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}.</ref> and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis and Yazidis. Sunni Arabs make up the largest population group in Syria.

In English, the name "Syria" was formerly synonymous with the Levant (known in Arabic as al-Sham), while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Its capital Damascus is among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt.

The modern Syrian state was established after World War I as a French mandate, and represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the formerly Ottoman-ruled Arab Levant. It gained independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945 when Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which legally ended the former French Mandate – although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946. The post-independence period was tumultuous, and a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–71. Between 1958–61, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt, which was terminated by 1961 Syrian coup d'état. The Arab Republic of Syria came into being in late 1961 after December 1 constitutional referendum, and was increasingly unstable until the Ba'athist coup d'état, after which the Ba'ath Party has maintained its power. Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens, and its system of government is considered to be non-democratic.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, who was in office from 1970 to 2000.<ref name="The Sturdy House That Assad Built">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Syria is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement; it is currently suspended from the Arab League<ref name="NYT Arab League">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation,<ref name="CNN OIC">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> and self-suspended from the Union for the Mediterranean.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an uprising against Assad and the Ba'athist government as part of the Arab Spring, a crackdown which contributed to the Syrian Civil War and Syria becoming among the least peaceful countries in the world.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The Syrian Interim Government was formed by the opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Coalition, in March 2013. Representatives of this alternative government were subsequently invited to take up Syria's seat at the Arab League.<ref name=guardian.co.uk>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>

As a result of the Syrian Civil War, the country is considered by some experts to now be, soon to be, or potentially<ref>http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/putin-overthrowing-assad-lead-failed-state-150927151816200.html</ref> become a failed state.<ref>http://csis.org/files/publication/150603_Failed_State_Wars_in_Iraq_Syria.pdf</ref><ref>http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/6/richard-rahn-the-rise-of-the-failed-states/</ref><ref>http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2013/08/06/-Syria-a-failed-state-.html</ref><ref>http://www.globalresearch.ca/destroying-countries-transforming-syria-into-a-failed-state/5317160</ref>

Etymology

{{#invoke:main|main}} The name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term "Sura/i", and the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, Sýrioi, or Σύροι{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, Sýroi, both of which originally derived from Aššūrāyu (Assyria) in northern Mesopotamia.<ref>Rollinger, Robert (2006). "The terms "Assyria" and "Syria" again" (PDF). Journal of Near Eastern Studies 65 (4): 284–287. doi:10.1086/511103.</ref><ref>Frye, R. N. (October 1992). "Assyria and Syria: Synonyms" (PDF). Journal of Near Eastern Studies 51 (4): 281–285. doi:10.1086/373570.</ref> However, from the Seleucid Empire (323-150 BC), this term was also applied to The Levant, and from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant.<ref>Herodotus, The Histories, VII.63, s:History of Herodotus/Book 7.</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Mainstream modern academic opinion strongly favours the argument that the Greek word related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, Assyria, ultimately derived from the Akkadian Aššur.<ref>First proposed by Theodor Nöldeke in 1881; cf. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In the past others believed that it was derived from Siryon, the name that the Sidonians gave to Mount Hermon.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> However, the discovery of the Çineköy inscription in 2000 seems to support the theory that the term Syria derives from Assyria, whose ancient homeland was located in modern northern Iraq.

The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, and having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene, Sophene, and Adiabene.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

By Pliny's time, however, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire (but politically independent from each other): Judaea, later renamed Palaestina in AD 135 (the region corresponding to modern-day Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Jordan) in the extreme southwest; Phoenice (established in 194 AD) corresponding to modern Lebanon, Damascus and Homs regions; Coele-Syria (or "Hollow Syria") south of the Eleutheris river, and Iraq.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


Syria sections
Intro   History    Geography    Politics and government    Economy    Demographics    Culture    Education    Health    See also    References    Further reading    External links   

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