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Syria

Syrian Arab Republic
al-Jumhuriyah al-Arabiyah al-Suriyah

Political Status: Republic proclaimed in 1941; became independent on April 17, 1946; under military regime since March 8, 1963.

Area: 71, 586 sq. mi. (185, 408 sq. km.).

Population: 17, 920, 844 (2004C); 24, 112, 000 (2010E). Both figures include Palestinian refugees, numbering approximately 400, 000.

Major Urban Centers (2005E, including suburbs): DAMASCUS (2, 314, 000), Aleppo (2, 560, 000), Homs (1, 102, 000).

Official Language: Arabic.

Monetary Unit: Syrian Pound (official rate November 1, 2010: 46.17 pounds = $1US). The Syrian pound, formerly pegged to the U.S. dollar, has been pegged to a basket of currencies since 2007.

President: Dr./Lt. Gen. Bashar al-ASSAD (Baath Party); sworn in for a seven-year term on July 17, 2000, and endorsed for a second seven-year term by a referendum held ...

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