With around 185,000 square kilometers, Syria is roughly half the size of Germany. It is between 32nd and 37th degrees north latitude and 35th and 42nd degrees east longitude in the Middle East. The capital Damascus is located in the southwest of the country.
The total length of the borders is 2,253 km. According to COUNTRYAAH, Syria borders Turkey in the north with a border length of 822 km, in the east on Iraq (border 605 km), in the south on Jordan (border 375 km), in the west on Israel (border 76 km) and Lebanon(Border 375 km) and has a coastal strip on the Mediterranean Sea of 193 km. The coastline is 30 km wide. It is bordered by a plateau in the east, which predominantly consists of rocky desert and desert steppes. In the southeast and east of Syria lies the Syrian Desert. The south is characterized by volcanoes and lava fields, to the west the up to 2,800 m high mountains of Antilebanon and Hermon join.
The longest river is the Euphrates, the Syria – coming from Turkey in the north towards Iraq in the east – it flows through the plateau over a length of around 670 km. The highest mountain is the Hermon with 2,814 meters, the lowest point of -212 meters is on the east bank of the Tiberias lake (Israeli occupied).
According to the Constitution, approved by referendum on March 12, 1973, Syria is a People’s Republic, democratic and socialist. The highest powers belong to the President of the Republic, whose mandate lasts seven years: the candidate for office is appointed by the People’s Assembly and must be confirmed by a popular referendum; he exercises executive power with the help of the prime minister and other members of the government, whom he appoints and dismisses. Legislative power rests with the People’s Assembly (Majlis al Sha’ab), whose 250 deputies are elected by universal and direct suffrage. The judicial system is based on French and Islamic law and does not provide for the recognition of international jurisdiction. On a national scale there is a Constitutional Supreme Court (made up of members appointed by the president for four years), a Court of Cassation and the Courts of Appeal; at the local level there are courts of various degrees and titles (for example Courts of first instance, Economic Courts, etc.) which judge on matters of specific competence. The death penalty is in force in the country. The armed forces are divided into the three traditional corps, to which is added a paramilitary force (gendarmerie). Military service is compulsory and lasts 30 months (18 for the navy); women can serve on a voluntary basis. L’ public teaching is free at all levels. Elementary education, compulsory, lasts 6 years at the end of which the pupils take an exam. In elementary school, religious instruction is compulsory. Secondary education, lasting 6 years, is divided into 2 cycles, one lower and one higher: the first is orientative, the second is more properly oriented, with humanistic and literary sections and sections with technical, agricultural or professional. Higher education is given in the universities of Aleppo (1960), of Damascus (1923), of Latakia (1971) and Homs (1979). Among the adult population, the percentage of illiterate people is 16.9% (2007).
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see national geography, brief history, society description, domestic politics, economy overview, and a list of widely used acronyms about Syria.
The coastal strip has a typically Mediterranean climate; The 120 km long and 40 km wide partially forested Alawite Mountains run parallel to the 193 km long coastal strip in the northwest. Its highest peaks can be found in the north with a height of up to 1754 m. The Orontes flows around the mountains in the north and east. This particularly fertile Orontestal appears to be the core area of Syria, as a high proportion of the population is concentrated in the agriculturally profitable region.. The anti-Lebanon rises further south. Its foothills merge into the Golan Heights and drop down to the Yarmuktal. Northeast Syria is also very fertile. The 400 m high Jezira plain lies in the Mesopotamia between the Euphrates and the Tigris. The east of Syria is dominated by the stone and steppe desert, which occupies over 60% of the total state area. It is an extension of the Arabian desert.
In Damascus, Aleppo and inland there is a continental climate, with hot summers and cold and sometimes humid winter months (around December to February) with rainfall between 600 – 1,000 mm on the coast, 400 mm in the steppe region, in the east and south-east to only another 100 mm.