Syria Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Syria?

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.

Geography - note:

the capital of Damascus - located at an oasis fed by the Barada River - is thought to be one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities; there are 41 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights

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.

Syria Use of Natural Resources

Syria Environment

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.

Terrain:

primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west

Natural Resources:

petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower

Natural Hazards:

dust storms, sandstorms

Irrigated Land:

5,178 Square Miles
13,410 Square Kilometers

Environmental 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

Syria Geography

Geographic Location Middle East
Total Area 71,498 Square Miles
185,180 Square Kilometers
Land Area 70,900 Square Miles
183,630 Square Kilometers
Water Area 598 Square Miles
1,550 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,400 Miles
2,253 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 5,178 Square Miles
13,410 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Iraq 605 km, Israel 76 km, Jordan 375 km, Lebanon 375 km, Turkey 822 km
Coastline 120 Miles
193 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 35 00 N, 38 00 E
Terrain primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west
Highest Point 2,814 Meters
Highest Point Location Mount Hermon 2,814 m
Lowest Point -200 Meters
Lowest Point Location unnamed location near Lake Tiberias -200 m
Natural Resources petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower
Time Zone UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins midnight on the last Friday in March; ends at midnight on the first Friday in November
All Countries
Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Sudan, South Suriname Svalbard Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States (US) Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe