GENERAL /

Date Established: April 17, 1946

US Aid: Obligated funding: $101 million
Spent funding: $165 million

GOVERNMENT /

Chief of State: President Bashar al-Assad

Head of Government: Prime Minister Imad Muhammad Dib Khamis

Government Type: Presidential Republic

Capital: Damascus

Legislature: People’s Council of Syria

Judiciary: Mixed legal system with civil law in general and family courts have Sharia law for Muslims and Canon law for Christians

Ambassador to US: Syria withdrew Ambassador due to the Syrian war

US Ambassador: US withdrew Ambassador due to the Syrian war

PEOPLE & SOCIETY /

Population: 19.4 million

Language: Arabic (official), Aramaic, Armenian, Circassian, English, French, Kurdish

Ethnicity: Arab (90.3%), Other (Alawites, Kurds, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Arameans/Syriacs, Armenian, Turkmen, Ismaili, Druze, Greeks) (9.7%)

Religion: Muslim (predominantly Sunni) (60.5%), Shia (including Alawite, Isma’ili (13%), Druze (3%), Christian (10%), Jewish (a few in Aleppo and Damascus)

Christian Communities: Greek (Antiochian) Orthodox, Greek (Melkite) Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, Armenian Catholic, Assyrian Church of the East (Nestorian), Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholic, Syriac Maronite, Chaldean Catholic, Roman Catholic, (Protestant)

Syria

Syria

BACKGROUND

Syria has a fascinating and complex history of intersecting peoples and civilizations. The modern state gained full independence in 1946. Syria has had a tumultuous history and, particularly within the last decade, has become known for civil war and the ensuing refugee crisis that has had global ramifications. The country, however, has a diverse ethnic and religious population; before the civil war, 10% of the Syrian population was Christian, but now, given the number of Christians who have fled, the proportion of Christians there is now considerably smaller.

LATEST NEWS

  • Assad says return of Golan Heights is essential for Israel-Syria peace: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said during an interview that any future agreement with Israel must entail a return of the Golan Heights to Syrian sovereignty. He also noted that negotiations are not taking place at this time between the two countries. - The Jerusalem Post

  • Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict draws in fighters from Lebanon and Syria: The new eruption of violence in Artsakh has drawn in Turkey, which sent hundreds of Syrian opposition fighters to back its ally Azerbaijan. - MarketWatch

  • Syria is still trying to use chemical weapons: Syria continues to obtain components for chemical weapons and missiles programs, according to the Trump administration. The administration officials worry that a potential buildup of these facilities could threaten Israel. In a UN Security Council meeting on October 5th, the US ambassador the UN accused Syria of breaching its obligation under the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN resolutions to dismantle its chemical weapons program. - Foreign Policy

Syria

Syria

GENERAL /

Date Established: April 17, 1946

US Aid: Obligated funding: $101 million
Spent funding: $165 million

GOVERNMENT /

Chief of State: President Bashar al-Assad

Head of Government: Prime Minister Imad Muhammad Dib Khamis

Government Type: Presidential Republic

Capital: Damascus

Legislature: People’s Council of Syria

Judiciary: Mixed legal system with civil law in general and family courts have Sharia law for Muslims and Canon law for Christians

Ambassador to US: Syria withdrew Ambassador due to the Syrian war

US Ambassador: US withdrew Ambassador due to the Syrian war

PEOPLE & SOCIETY /

Population: 19.4 million

Language: Arabic (official), Aramaic, Armenian, Circassian, English, French, Kurdish

Ethnicity: Arab (90.3%), Other (Alawites, Kurds, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Arameans/Syriacs, Armenian, Turkmen, Ismaili, Druze, Greeks) (9.7%)

Religion: Muslim (predominantly Sunni) (60.5%), Shia (including Alawite, Isma’ili (13%), Druze (3%), Christian (10%), Jewish (a few in Aleppo and Damascus)

Christian Communities: Greek (Antiochian) Orthodox, Greek (Melkite) Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, Armenian Catholic, Assyrian Church of the East (Nestorian), Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholic, Syriac Maronite, Chaldean Catholic, Roman Catholic, (Protestant)

BACKGROUND

Syria has a fascinating and complex history of intersecting peoples and civilizations. The modern state gained full independence in 1946. Syria has had a tumultuous history and, particularly within the last decade, has become known for civil war and the ensuing refugee crisis that has had global ramifications. The country, however, has a diverse ethnic and religious population; before the civil war, 10% of the Syrian population was Christian, but now, given the number of Christians who have fled, the proportion of Christians there is now considerably smaller.

LATEST NEWS

  • Thirsty residents of northeast Syria accuse Turkey of cutting off water: Residents in Hassake have accused Turkey of taking over the pumping station near the city. Kurdish and Syrian officials have accused Turkey of this as well, but Turkey has denied it and claimed that Hassake continues to receive water. - Time 24 News

  • Following governmental efforts and international pressures on the Erdogan regime, water has started to reach Hassake: Hassake governor Ghassan Khalil stated that the water crisis his area faced for two weeks has finally ceased after governmental efforts and international pressures on Turkey. - SANA News

  • Turkey says Kurdish administration is to blame for water crisis in northeast Syria: The state-owned Turkish news agency claimed that it was the Kurdish administration, controlled by organizations affiliated with PKK, that has been behind the water crisis in Hassake. The agency denied that the Turkish government had anything to do with the water crisis.  - Al Masdar News

  • New Iraqi PM sends message to Syrian President: The Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, sent a message to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries. - Al Masdar News

  • Syrianwar: American troops hurt as Russian and US military vehicles collide. Russian and US troops have collided in northeast Syria, which led to several US troops being Both governments are blaming each other for the collision. - BBC

  • Syrian media reports air strikes near Aleppo: An Israeli aircraft launched a number of missiles at targets near the Syrian city of Aleppo in the early hours of September 11th. The strikes hit unspecified targets in an area that once contained a Syrian missiles production facility. - The Times of Israel

  • COVID creeps into a sprawling Syrian refugee camp in Jordan: The coronavirus has crept into one of the biggest camps for Syrian refugees. It contains 77,000 refugees, living in an area of about 5.3 square kilometers. - CBS

  • Russia vows to help Syria “breakthrough” crippling U.S. sanctions: Russia’s Deputy PM pledged on Monday that his country would help Syria’s government survived U.S. economic sanctions. - CBS

  • Group of Syrian migrants sent back to Lebanon, Cyprus reports: A group of migrants sent back to Lebanon have filed a complaint with the ECHR against Cyprus, fearing that some may be returned to Syria. - Cyprus Mail