Syria is located on the coast of the eastern Mediterranean, bordering Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel. Syria became an independent country in 1946, after a period of French occupation, and proceeded through periods of political instability marked by numerous military coups, until Hafez al-Assad took the presidency in 1969. This entry examines modern Syria, including the Syrian political and economic systems, the antiregime uprisings starting in 2011, and Syrian regional and national security issues.

The Syrian Political System

Freedom House, a U.S.-based organization that researches political freedom and human rights around the world, ranks Syria as “not free,” because of Baath party domination of the political system, which controls the nomination and selection of the president. The Syrian national assembly has no real power, nor ...

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