Syria, or Syrian Arab Republic, one of the countries of the Middle East in southwestern Asia. It lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea and occupies part of the ancient Fertile Crescent, a center of early civilization. Syria borders largely on Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan, but also adjoins Israel and Lebanon.

Facts in brief about Syria
Capital: Damascus.
Official language: Arabic.
Official name: Al-Jumhuria Al-Arabia Al-Suria (The Syrian Arab Republic).
Area: 71,498 mi2 (185,180 km2). Greatest distances—east-west, 515 mi (829 km); north-south, 465 mi (748 km). Coastline—94 mi (151 km).
Elevation: Highest—Mount Hermon, 9,232 ft (2,814 m) above sea level. Lowest—sea level along the coast.
Population: Current estimate—20,423,000; density, 286 per mi2 (110 per km2); distribution, 50 percent urban, 50 percent rural. 2002 official government estimate—16,924,000.
Chief products: Agriculture—cotton, wheat, barley, milk, grapes, sugar beets. Manufacturing—textiles, fertilizer, petroleum products, cement, glass, processed foods. Mining—petroleum, phosphates.
National anthem: "Humata al-Diyari" ("Guardians of the Homeland").
Flag: Syria's flag, adopted in 1980, has three horizontal stripes of red, white, and black (top to bottom) that are traditional Arab colors. Two green stars appear in the center of the middle white strip. The coat of arms is a hawk with a shield of the Syrian flag. The bird was the emblem of the tribe of Muhammad, the founder of Islam.
Money: Basic unit—Syrian pound (also called lira). One hundred piasters equal one pound.

Facts in brief about Syria