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

  • US drone strike kills 2 senior Al Qaeda operatives in Syria: The US military carried out a drone strike that killed two senior Al Qaeda operatives in northwest Syria. It was the first drone strike by the US military against Al Qaeda in Syria since mid-September. It is not clear what kind of missile was used, and the names of the Al Qaeda leaders killed were not immediately known. - Fox News

  • EU slaps sanctions on 7 new Syria government ministers: The EU imposed sanctions on seven ministers recently appointed to the Syrian government, blaming them for the crackdown on civilians in the war-ravaged country. These sanctions included asset freezes and travel bans in Europe. With the new sanctions, the number of people targeted by EU measures has increased to 280. - The Washington Post

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

  • US drone strike kills 2 senior Al Qaeda operatives in Syria: The US military carried out a drone strike that killed two senior Al Qaeda operatives in northwest Syria. It was the first drone strike by the US military against Al Qaeda in Syria since mid-September. It is not clear what kind of missile was used, and the names of the Al Qaeda leaders killed were not immediately known. - Fox News

  • EU slaps sanctions on 7 new Syria government ministers: The EU imposed sanctions on seven ministers recently appointed to the Syrian government, blaming them for the crackdown on civilians in the war-ravaged country. These sanctions included asset freezes and travel bans in Europe. With the new sanctions, the number of people targeted by EU measures has increased to 280. - The Washington Post

  • 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