Syrian Arab Republic
الجمهورية العربية السورية (Arabic)
al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah
Latakia - Falafel - Khan As’ad Pasha Caravanserai - Krak des Chevaliers Castle - Hama City - Al-Buzuriyah Souq - Umayyaden Mosque in Damaskus - Mount Hermon - Temple of Baal Shamin in Palmyra - Aleppo - Azm Palace
Official and national language:
April 2018 - 17,297,865
World Heritage Sites
Syria is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south and Israel to the southwest.
Syria is a country of fertile plains, high mountains and deserts. The capital and largest city is Damascus. Diverse ethnic and religious groups live in Syria, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians, Mandeans and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Isma'ilis, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, Yazidis, and Jews. However Sunni make up the largest religious group.
Since 1967 the western two-thirds of Syria's Golan Heights are occupied by Israel and were in 1981 effectively annexed by Israel. The eastern third is controlled by Syria, with a buffer zone in between to implement the ceasefire of the Purple Line.
There are a variety of castles, ruins, palaces and ancient sites scattered throughout the country. The Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Great Mosque of Damascus, located in the old city of Damascus. Krak des Chevaliers is a Crusader castle and one of the most important preserved medieval castles in the world. The Temple of Bel, was an ancient temple located in Palmyra. There are the national Museum of Aleppo, the National Museum of Damascus and the museum Khan As'ad Pasha, which is the largest khan in the Old City of Damascus, covering an area of 2,500 square metres.