Syrian Arab Republic

al-Jumhuriyah al-Arabiyah al-Suriyah

Note: On November 12, 2011, Syria was suspended from the Arab League because of government suppression of antiregime protests. The League also imposed a range of sanctions on the Syrian regime. By January 2012 an estimated 5,000 had been killed in Syria's growing civil war. The violence prompted the Arab League to deploy more than 100 monitors to the country in an unsuccessful effort to mediate the strife.

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: 21,260,894 (2012E—UN); 22,530,746 (2012E—U.S. Census).

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 October 3, 2011: 49.4 pounds = ...

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