Syria Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Syria?


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

Syria Use of Natural Resources

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+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

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