World Country Syria

About the world country Syria, its location, size, population, and who is in power.

NATIONS OF THE WORLD

SYRIA

Location: On the eastern Mediterranean coast, between Lebanon and Turkey. Size: 71,498 sq. mi. (185,180 sq. km.). Population: 9,107,000 (90% Arab; 70% Sunni Muslim, 15% Alawite Muslim, 12% Christian, 3% Druze and others).

Who Really Rules: Despite periodic elections, Syria is essentially a military dictatorship of the Arab Socialist Reconstructionist (Ba'ath) party. The present ruling faction, dominating the military, bureaucracy, and public sector of the economy, is from the Alawite sect. Right-wing Sunni Muslims from the Muslim Brotherhood have spearheaded anti-Alawite forces.

In a permanent state of war with Israel, hostile to Iraq, and with 30,000 troops in Lebanon, Syria expends a huge chunk of its national resources on the military. The Soviet Union is its major arms supplier, and it hopes to get financial aid from Libya, with which it "federated" in 1980.

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