Syria: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, size, population, and government of the country Syria.



Location--The eastern shore of the Mediterranean forms part of the western boundary of Syria, with Turkey forming its northern boundary. Iraq is to the east, with Jordan on the south, and Israel and Lebanon on the west.

How Created--The present Republic of Syria was carved out of Greater Syria by Britain and France in the wake of the conquest of the Ottoman Empire during W.W. I. Syrian and other Arab nationalists declared independence for the whole region in 1919, but the European powers (through the League of Nations) thwarted independence and occupied all of Syria, creating several states out of Greater Syria--Lebanon, Palestine, Transjordan, and Syria--and eventually ceding some of the northern parts of Syria to Turkey and part of the east to Iraq.

Size--71,498 sq. mi. (185,180 sq. km.).

Population--Over 7 million: Arab, 87.9%; Kurdish, 6.3%; American, 2.8%; Jewish, 0.7%; Turkmen, 0.6%; Circassian, 0.5%; Assyrian, 0.3%; other, 0.9%. 87.7% Muslim (mostly Sunnis), 12% Christian, 0.3% other.

Who Rules--An elected President, with a partially elected and partially appointed People's Assembly (legislature). Candidates are selected by the National Progressive Front, though independents may stand for election.

Who REALLY Rules--The Baath party, at present dominated by a small group of military men who in fact are attempting to broaden the base of their power outside the party.

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