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Introduction: Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French administered the area as Syria until granting it independence in 1946. The new country lacked political stability, however, and experienced a series of military coups during its first decades. Syria united with Egypt in February 1958 to form the United Arab Republic. In September 1961, the two entities separated, and the Syrian Arab Republic was reestablished. In November 1970, Hafiz al-ASAD, a member of the Socialist Ba'th Party and the minority Alawi sect, seized power in a bloodless coup and brought...

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History: Archaeologists have demonstrated that Syria was the center of one of the most ancient civilizations on earth. Around the excavated city of Ebla in northern Syria, discovered in 1975, a great Semitic empire spread from the Red Sea north to Turkey and east to Mesopotamia from 2500 to 2400 B.C. The city of Ebla alone during that time had a population estimated at 260,000. Scholars believe the ...

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International Relations: Syria's Relations with Neighbours

Syria has good relations with Iran, including defence ties, and the two signed a memorandum of defence understanding in June 2006. On 21 November 2006 Syria and Iraq signed an agreement to restore diplomatic relations almost 25 years after they cut them. The ongoing violence in Iraq has led to an influx of between 1.2 and 1.5 m Iraqi refugees into Syria in 2007/8. Many have not retuned or been resettled in third countries but substantial numbers remain in Syria.

In October 1998, Turkey threatened military action against Syria, in frustration at alleged long-term Syrian ...

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The first recorded mention of Greater Syria is in Egyptian annals detailing expeditions to the Syrian coastland to log the cedar, pine, and cypress of the Ammanus and Lebanon mountain ranges in the fourth millennium. Sumer, a kingdom of non-Semitic peoples that formed the southern boundary of ancient Babylonia, also sent expeditions in the third millennium, chiefly in pursuit of cedar from the ...

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