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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: 22,265,000 (2014E—UN); 22,878,524 (2014E—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 1, 2014: 161.60 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 July 17, 2000, May 27, 2007, and July 16, 2014.

Vice Presidents: Farouk al-SHARAA (Baath Party); appointed by President Assad February 11, 2006. Ms. Najah al-ATTAR (ind.); appointed by the president March 23, 2006. Both were reappointed July 18, 2014.

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