World Factbook Deluxe Version
A deluxe version of the CIA World Factbook





Syria

Geography



Location


Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey


Geographic coordinates


35 00 N, 38 00 E


Map references


Middle East


Area


total: 185,180 sq km
land: 183,630 sq km
water: 1,550 sq km
note: includes 1,295 sq km of Israeli-occupied territory


Area - comparative


slightly more than 1.5 times the size of Pennsylvania



Land boundaries


total: 2,363 km
border countries (5): Iraq 599 km, Israel 83 km, Jordan 379 km, Lebanon 403 km, Turkey 899 km


Coastline


193 km


Maritime claims


territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm


Climate


mostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along coast; cold weather with snow or sleet periodically in Damascus


Terrain


primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west


Elevation


mean elevation: 514 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: unnamed location near Lake Tiberias -200 m
highest point: Mount Hermon 2,814 m


Natural resources


petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower


Land use


agricultural land: 75.8%
arable land 25.4%; permanent crops 5.8%; permanent pasture 44.6%
forest: 2.7%
other: 21.5% (2011 est.)


Irrigated land


14,280 sq km (2012)


Population - distribution


significant population density along the Mediterranean coast; larger concentrations found in the major cities of Damascus, Aleppo (the country's largest city), and Hims (Homs); more than half of the population lives in the coastal plain, the province of Aleppo, and the Euphrates River valley


Natural hazards


dust storms, sandstorms
volcanism: Syria's two historically active volcanoes, Es Safa and an unnamed volcano near the Turkish border have not erupted in centuries


Environment - current issues


deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution from raw sewage and petroleum refining wastes; inadequate potable water


Environment - international agreements


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification


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 42 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (2014 est.)







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