Syria Fast Facts

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 11:00pm

This is one in a series of Fast Facts offered from the CNN Library giving a more in-depth look at a person or topic  

Syria is a Middle Eastern country sharing a border with Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. The Syrian uprising began in March 2011. As of August 2013, more than 100,000 Syrians have been killed, according to the United Nations.

About Syria: (from the CIA World Factbook) Land Area: 185,180 sq km, slightly larger than North Dakota Population: 22,457,336 Median age: 22.7 years old Capital: Damascus (2.5 million) Ethnic Groups: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7% Religion: Sunni Muslim 74%, other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) 16% Christian (various denominations) 10% GDP: $107.6 billion (2011 estimate) GDP per capita: $5,100 (2011 estimate) Unemployment: 18% (2012 estimate)

Timeline: 1517-1918 - Part of the Ottoman Empire.

1920 - The League of Nations puts Syria under French control.

April 17, 1946 - Independence is declared after French troops leave the country.

1949-1958 - A series of coups leads to instability in the country.

February 1, 1958 - Syria and Egypt merge, creating the United Arab Republic.

September 28, 1961 - Syria secedes from the United Arab Republic.

1967 - Syria loses the Golan Heights to Israel during the Six Day War.

November 13, 1970 - Minister of Defense Hafez al-Assad stages a bloodless coup.

1976-2005 - Approximately 17,000 Syrian troops are stationed in neighboring Lebanon.

1979-present - Syria is placed on the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism.

June 10, 2000 - Hafez al-Assad dies.

July 10, 2000 - Bashar al-Assad is elected president by referendum, winning 97% of the vote. He is re-elected in 2007.

March 2011-present - An on-going civil war in Syria claims more than 100,000 lives.


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