Where is Syria located?

What countries border Syria?

Syria Weather

What is the current weather in Syria?

Syria Facts and Culture

What is Syria famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Syria has a rich and diverse cultural heritage shaped by its long history and the influences of various civilizations. Here... More
  • Family: Families in Syria are typically close-knit and hold a central position in the social fabric of society. Family ties are... More
  • Personal Apperance: Traditional clothing in Syria varies based on the region and cultural background of individuals. However, in urban areas, modern Western-style... More
  • Recreation: Recreation activities in Syria vary depending on the region, urban or rural settings, and individual preferences. However, here are some... More
  • Diet: Syrian food is either very sweet or very sour. Basic foods include lamb, chicken, chickpeas, eggplant, olives, yogurt, rice, and... More
  • Food and Recipes: When it comes to eating in Syria, there are several social norms and customs to be aware of. Here are... More
  • Visiting: When visiting in Syria, it's important to be aware of and respect the social norms and customs of the country.... More
  • Dating: Dating rituals in Syria are influenced by cultural traditions and societal expectations. It's important to note that dating practices can... More

Syria Facts

What is the capital of Syria?

Capital Damascus
Government Type presidential republic; highly authoritarian regime
Currency Syrian Pound (SYP)
Total Area 71,498 Square Miles
185,180 Square Kilometers
Location Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey
Language Arabic (official); Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian widely understood; French, English somewhat understood
GDP - real growth rate -9.9%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $5,100.00 (USD)

Syria Demographics

What is the population of Syria?

Ethnic Groups Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%
Nationality Noun Syrian(s)
Population 19,398,448
Population - note note: approximately 20,500 Israeli settlers live in the Golan Heights
Population Growth Rate 0.15%
Population in Major Urban Areas Aleppo 3.164 million; DAMASCUS (capital) 2.65 million; Hims 1.369 million; Hamah 933,000
Urban Population 56.100000

Syria Government

What type of government does Syria have?

Executive Branch chief of state: President Bashar al-ASAD (since 17 July 2000); Vice President Najah al-ATTAR (since 23 March 2006)

head of government: Prime Minister Hussein ARNOUS (since 30 August 2020); Deputy Prime Minister Ali Abdullah AYOUB (Lt. Gen.) (since 30 August 2020)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 May 2021 (next to be held in 2028); the president appoints the vice president, prime minister, and deputy prime minister

election results: Bashar al-ASAD elected president; percent of vote - Bashar al-ASAD (Ba'th Party) 95.2%, Mahmoud Ahmad MAREI (Democratic Arab Socialist Union) 3.3%, other1.5%
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Syria; if the father is unknown or stateless, the mother must be a citizen of Syria

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
National Holiday Independence Day (Evacuation Day), 17 April (1946); note - celebrates the leaving of the last French troops and the proclamation of full independence
Constitution history: several previous; latest issued 15 February 2012, passed by referendum and effective 27 February 2012; note - UN-sponsored talks, which began in late 2019 between delegates from government and opposition forces to draft a new constitution; in March 2022, the 7th round of the Syrian Constitutional Committee ended in Geneva with no results

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by one third of the People’s Assembly members; following review by a special Assembly committee, passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote by the Assembly and approval by the president
Independence 17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)

Syria Video

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Syria Geography

What environmental issues does Syria have?

Overview The Syrian Arab Republic is at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea and at the northern end of the Afro-Asian Rift Valley. Syria's area, approximately 185,000 square kilometers (71,500 square miles), comprises several distinct climatic conditions. The western coastal plain is a narrow, fertile stretch of land that is the most humid area of the country, with milder winters and summers than the rest of the country. Due east in the Orontes River Valley, the northern extension of the Afro-Asian rift, is a rich agricultural area that continues into the Bekaa Valley to the south. East of the Orontes Valley begins the desert region.

The largest cities of Syria, Damascus, Homs, and Aleppo, are located on the eastern side of the mountain spine created by the rift. Further to the east is the Syrian Desert with its ancient oasis-city, Palmyra. In the northeast, the Anatolian Mountains serve as a natural barrier between Syria and Turkey and between Syria and Iraq. Here is found the Jazira Valley, watered by the Euphrates River, which is the grain belt of Syria. The oil fields of Syria are also in this area.

Damascus, the capital and one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, rests at about 700 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level on the Barada River in the southwestern section of the country.

Climate The Syrian Arab Republic comprises several distinct climatic conditions. The western coastal plain is the most humid area of the country, with milder winters and summers than the rest of the country. East of the Orontes Valley begins the desert region. In general the climate is mostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along the coast

There are four seasons in Damascus, with spring, winter, and fall generally lasting 8 to 12 weeks apiece. Summers can be long, dry, and hot. Short winters can be cold and rainy, with occasional snow. Annual rainfall in Damascus averages 81.6 millimeters (3.21 inches.) Temperatures in Damascus range from lows 0 °C (32 °F) at night to highs of 20 °C (68 °F during the day in the winter, and in the summer from 16 °C (60 °F) to 38 °C (100 °F). Though snow falls infrequently in Damascus, it does snow in the mountains near the city, and some roads are impassible during these storms.

Border Countries Iraq 605 km, Israel 76 km, Jordan 375 km, Lebanon 375 km, Turkey 822 km
Environment - Current Issues deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution from raw sewage and petroleum refining wastes; inadequate potable water
Environment - International Agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Terrain primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west

Syria Economy

How big is the Syria economy?

Economic Overview Syria has been grappling with a complex and protracted conflict since 2011, which has significantly impacted its economy. However, please note that the situation may have evolved since then, and it's important to refer to up-to-date sources for the latest economic developments in Syria.

Before the conflict, Syria had a developing economy with diverse sectors, including agriculture, industry, and services. The country was known for its oil and gas reserves, agricultural products, textiles, and tourism. However, the ongoing conflict has resulted in severe disruptions to these sectors and has caused extensive damage to infrastructure, including factories, oil installations, and agricultural areas.

GDP and Inflation: The conflict has had a devastating effect on Syria's economy, leading to a significant contraction in GDP. Inflation rates have been high, and the Syrian pound has depreciated substantially, causing further economic challenges for the population.

Energy Sector: Syria's energy sector, particularly oil and gas production, has been severely affected by the conflict. Many oil fields and infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed, resulting in a decline in oil production and a loss of revenue from exports.

Trade and Sanctions: International trade has been hampered by the conflict and various economic sanctions imposed on Syria. These sanctions, imposed by several countries and international organizations, have restricted foreign investment, financial transactions, and access to global markets, further straining the economy.

Humanitarian Situation: The conflict has led to a significant humanitarian crisis, with millions of Syrians internally displaced and millions more seeking refuge in neighboring countries. The strain on resources and infrastructure has been immense, exacerbating the economic challenges faced by the country.

Reconstruction Efforts: While the conflict continues, discussions on post-war reconstruction have started. However, the scale of destruction and the economic challenges faced by Syria make the reconstruction process an enormous undertaking, requiring significant financial resources and international support.

Informal Economy: Due to the disruptions caused by the conflict, an informal economy has emerged in Syria. Many Syrians have turned to small-scale, informal businesses and activities to sustain their livelihoods, contributing to a fragmented and unregulated economic landscape.
Industries petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining
Currency Name and Code Syrian Pound (SYP)
Export Partners Germany 17.5%, Italy 15.9%, Turkey 7.1%, France 6.8%, UAE 6.6%, Lebanon 4.8%
Import Partners Italy 8.1%, Germany 7.4%, China 5.6%, South Korea 4.6%, France 4.4%, US 4.3%, Turkey 4%

Syria News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Syria?
Source: Google News

Syria Travel Information

What makes Syria a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

In light of the escalating violence and volatility of the current security situation in Syria, the Department of State has issued a Travel Warning advising U.S. citizens against travel to Syria and strongly recommending that U.S. citizens remaining in Syria depart immediately. Those who choose to remain in Syria or to visit despite this advice should be aware that the U.S. Embassy in Damascus suspended operations in February 2012 and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to U.S. citizens in Syria. The Government of the Czech Republic, acting through its Embassy in Damascus, serves as Protecting Power for U.S. interests in Syria. The range of consular services the Czech Republic provides to U.S. citizens is extremely limited, and those services may require significantly more processing time than at U.S. embassies or consulates outside of Syria.

The Syrian Arab Republic is ruled by an authoritarian regime dominated by the Socialist Ba'ath Party. The Ba'ath party espouses a largely secular ideology; however, Islamic traditions and beliefs provide a religious foundation for the country's customs and practices. While the 1963 Emergency Law, which authorized the government to conduct preventive arrests and override constitutional and penal code provisions against arbitrary arrest and detention, was rescinded on April 19, 2011, the practice of arbitrary arrest and detention has not abated.

The Syrian government conducts intense physical and electronic surveillance of both Syrian citizens and foreign visitors. U.S. citizens visiting Syria should be aware that any encounter with a Syrian citizen could be subject to scrutiny by the General Intelligence Directorate (GID) or other security services. Sustained interactions with average Syrians – especially if deemed to be of a political nature – may subject that Syrian to harassment and/or detention, and other forms of repressive actions by state security elements. Furthermore, loitering or photographing of facilities or buildings or behavior deemed suspicious may result in U.S. citizens being arrested or detained by security services. Since 1979, the United States has designated Syria a State Sponsor of Terrorism due to its support for organizations such as Hizballah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The combination of terrorist organizations, a porous border with Iraq and long-standing border issues with all of its neighbors (Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Israel) have made Syria a destabilizing factor in the region and a potential target for reprisal. Tourist facilities are available and vary in quality depending on price and location. Many establishments will only accept cash.


The rate of crime in major Syrian cities is difficult to determine due to the continued fighting throughout the country. The current unrest and significant deterioration of the Syrian economy have led to a perceived increase in criminal activity. You should apply the same personal security awareness practices overseas as you do in U.S. cities.

Women in Syria, particularly those dressed in a style perceived as Western, have reported harassment, stalking, and unwelcome advances of a sexual nature. Many of these incidents have involved taxi drivers. Incidents typically entail verbal sexual harassment, staring, and/or touching. Women should take precautions including dressing conservatively (especially in the Old City), not traveling alone, and avoiding travel to unfamiliar areas at night. Women should not generally sit in the front seat of a taxi. Unnecessary conversation with the taxi driver may be perceived as an invitation for closer personal relations. Both men and women should always carry a cell phone, if possible.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Syria, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own.

For example, under the Narcotics Act, article 39, Syria imposes the death penalty for drug trafficking or cultivation. Women who are arrested under suspicion of immoral behavior (e.g. being alone in a room with a man who is not the woman’s husband, or being in a residence where drugs or alcohol are being consumed) may be subjected to a virginity test. In addition, the Syrian government monitors the activities of all groups, including religious groups, anddiscourages proselytizing, which it deems a threat to relations among religious groups. In some places you may be taken in for questioningif you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Syria, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Basic medical care and medicines are available in Syria’s principal cities, but not necessarily in outlying areas. Serious illnesses and emergencies may require evacuation to a Western medical facility.

Safety and Security

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to Syria and strongly recommends that U.S. citizens remaining in Syria depart immediately. The Syrian regime has used deadly force to quell anti-government protests and is engaged in a full-scale civil war with the armed Syrian opposition. Syrian opposition groups have utilized car bombs, improvised explosive device/indirect-fire attacks, sniper fire, and kidnappings throughout the country. Foreign combatants – including Iranian regime elements, Hizballah fighters, Islamic extremists, and al Qaida-linked elements – are participating in hostilities. Military operations have involved the use of ballistic missiles, aerial attacks, and heavy artillery against civilian centers. Attacks from these various groups could happen with little or no warning, no part of Syria should be considered immune from violence, and the potential exists throughout the country for unpredictable and hostile acts, including kidnappings, sniper assaults, terrorist attacks, large and small-scale bombings, as well as arbitrary arrest, detention, and torture.

The United States intelligence community assesses with high confidence that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale against the opposition multiple times over the past year. The continuing violence, deteriorating security situation, and Syria’s chemical and biological weapons program creates a particularly volatile situation. The security situation throughout the country is very likely to remain volatile and unpredictable for the foreseeable future, with some areas, especially in the contested population centers, experiencing substantially increased levels of violence. The conflict has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths with many thousands wounded, 1.6 million refugees and over four million internally displaced persons.

Thereis an ongoing and increased risk of kidnapping of U.S. citizens and Westerners in general throughout the country. In August 2012, a U.S. citizenjournalist was kidnapped near Damascus and in November 2012, another U.S. citizenjournalist was kidnapped in Idlib Governorate; the status of these U.S. citizens is unknown at thistime. In early April 2013, an Italian journalist was kidnapped, and in late April 2013, two Orthodox Christian Bishops were abducted in the northern city of Aleppo. It is unknown if regime forces or opposition elements conducted these kidnappings. Most recently, on June 7, two French journalists were taken in Aleppo. Since the start of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime in March 2011, at least 24 foreigners, primarily journalists, have been reportedly kidnapped or killed in the fighting

A porous border with Iraq and long-standing border issues with Iraq,Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel, have contributed to a complex security environment in Syria, which has been compounded by the protracted violent conflict and an influx of foreign fighters. There have been multiple reports of Syrian shelling of neighboring countries’ border areas throughout 2012 and 2013, most significantly in Lebanon, Turkey, and the Golan Heights. On October 3, 2012, Syrian military forces fired artillery shells that hit the town of Akcakale on the Turkish side of the Turkish-Syrian border, killing five people and wounding a number of others. Turkey responded with retaliatory artillery fire and cross-border incidents have continued sporadically since that time. Likely linked to the regime offensive in al Qusayr, indirect fire has crossed into Lebanon on several occasions, illustrating the continued potential for spillover of Syria’s conflict throughout the region.

Syria has been a State Sponsor of Terrorism since 1979 and has given political support to a variety of terrorist groups affecting the stability of the region. The Al-Nusrah Front has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist acts in Syria since December 2011, including four bombings in Aleppo on October 3, 2012 that killed more than 50 people and a October 9, 2012 suicide bomb attack on a Syrian Air Force Intelligence compound in a Damascus suburb that killed and wounded at least 100, including civilians.

Terrorists often do not distinguish between U.S. government personnel and private U.S. citizens. Terrorists may target areas frequented by Westerners, such as tourist sites, hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other frequently visited areas. U.S. citizens are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance and be aware of their surroundings. It is especially important for travelers to be unpredictable in their movements by varying times and routes and maintaining a low profile.

While most Syrians appear genuinely friendly towards foreigners, underlying tensions can lead to a quick escalation in the potential for violence. Elements within both the regime, as well as opposition groups, maintain anti-American or anti-Western sentiment, which may intensify following significant events in the region, particularly those related to U.S.-Syria relations, international intervention in the ongoing conflict, Israeli-Palestinian issues, the status of Jerusalem, and clashes in Lebanon.

U.S. citizens traveling through the area should remain aware that pre-existing tensions and instabilities continue to exist and U.S. interests and citizens might be targeted. On July 11, 2011, the U.S. Embassy and other embassies in Damascus were violently attacked by people participating in a pro-government demonstration. Similarly, in October 2011, the U.S. Ambassador’s convoy was attacked in a Damascus suburb while he met with an opposition figure. Both indicidents caused significant property damage.

Security personnel frequently place foreign visitors under surveillance. Hotel rooms, internet connections, telephones, and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms may be searched. Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in questioning, detention and/or confiscation of the images. Additionally, U.S. citizens should be aware that conversations on the topics of politics, religion and other social issues could lead to arrest. It is also illegal in Syria to possess specific-use electronic devices including GPS, short-wave or handheld radio equipment, or similar devices.

U.S. citizens should increase their vigilance if they travel to the border area with Iraq or Israel, the Golan Heights, or the Al-Jazira region. Movements in these areas are subject to Syrian security surveillance and could lead to questioning or detention.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Syria, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Syria is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving in Syria may be hazardous and requires great caution. Although drivers generally follow traffic signs and signals, they often maneuver aggressively and show little regard for vehicles traveling near them. Lane markings are usually ignored. Vehicles within Syrian traffic circles must give way to entering traffic, unlike in the United States. At night, it is very hard to see pedestrians, who often walk into traffic with little warning. Outside major cities it is common to find pedestrians, animals and vehicles without lights on the roads at night. Pedestrians must also exercise caution. Parked cars, deteriorating pavement, and guard posts obstruct sidewalks, often forcing pedestrians to walk in the street. Vehicles often do not stop for pedestrians, and regularly run red lights or “jump” the green light well before it changes.

Because of the ongoing conflict, there has been an increase in the potential that visitors will encounter hostile activity or harassment at both official and unofficial security checkpoints on roadways throughout the country.

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