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Lebanon vs. Syria

Introduction

LebanonSyria
BackgroundFollowing World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French demarcated the region of Lebanon in 1920 and granted this area independence in 1943. Since independence the country has been marked by periods of political turmoil interspersed with prosperity built on its position as a regional center for finance and trade. The country's 1975-90 civil war that resulted in an estimated 120,000 fatalities, was followed by years of social and political instability. Sectarianism is a key element of Lebanese political life. Neighboring Syria has historically influenced Lebanon's foreign policy and internal policies, and its military occupied Lebanon from 1976 until 2005. The Lebanon-based Hizballah militia and Israel continued attacks and counterattacks against each other after Syria's withdrawal, and fought a brief war in 2006. Lebanon's borders with Syria and Israel remain unresolved.
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 and experienced a series of military coups. 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 the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Syria lost the Golan Heights region to Israel. During the 1990s, Syria and Israel held occasional, albeit unsuccessful, peace talks over its return. 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 political stability to the country. Following the death of President Hafiz al-ASAD, his son, Bashar al-ASAD, was approved as president by popular referendum in July 2000. Syrian troops - stationed in Lebanon since 1976 in an ostensible peacekeeping role - were withdrawn in April 2005. During the July-August 2006 conflict between Israel and Hizballah, Syria placed its military forces on alert but did not intervene directly on behalf of its ally Hizballah. In May 2007, Bashar al-ASAD's second term as president was approved by popular referendum.
Influenced by major uprisings that began elsewhere in the region, and compounded by additional social and economic factors, antigovernment protests broke out first in the southern province of Dar'a in March 2011 with protesters calling for the repeal of the restrictive Emergency Law allowing arrests without charge, the legalization of political parties, and the removal of corrupt local officials. Demonstrations and violent unrest spread across Syria with the size and intensity of protests fluctuating. The government responded to unrest with a mix of concessions - including the repeal of the Emergency Law, new laws permitting new political parties, and liberalizing local and national elections - and with military force and detentions. The government's ongoing violence to quell unrest and widespread armed opposition activity has led to extended clashes between government forces, their allies, and oppositionists. International pressure on the ASAD regime has intensified since late 2011, as the Arab League, the EU, Turkey, and the US expanded economic sanctions against the regime and those entities that support it. In December 2012, the Syrian National Coalition, was recognized by more than 130 countries as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Political negotiations between the government and opposition delegations at the UN-sponsored Geneva II conference in 2014 and the UN-sponsored Geneva III talks in 2016 failed to produce a resolution of the conflict. Unrest continues in Syria, and according to an April 2016 UN estimate, the death toll among Syrian Government forces, opposition forces, and civilians was over 400,000. As of December 2016, approximately 13.5 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, with 6.3 million people displaced internally, and an additional 4.8 million Syrian refugees, making the Syrian situation the largest humanitarian crisis worldwide.

Geography

LebanonSyria
LocationMiddle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria
Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey
Geographic coordinates33 50 N, 35 50 E
35 00 N, 38 00 E
Map referencesMiddle East
Middle East
Areatotal: 10,400 sq km
land: 10,230 sq km
water: 170 sq km
total: 185,180 sq km
land: 183,630 sq km
water: 1,550 sq km
note: includes 1,295 sq km of Israeli-occupied territory
Area - comparativeabout one-third the size of Maryland
slightly more than 1.5 times the size of Pennsylvania
Land boundariestotal: 484 km
border countries (2): Israel 81 km, Syria 403 km
total: 2,363 km
border countries (5): Iraq 599 km, Israel 83 km, Jordan 379 km, Lebanon 403 km, Turkey 899 km
Coastline225 km
193 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
ClimateMediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; the Lebanon Mountains experience heavy winter snows
mostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along coast; cold weather with snow or sleet periodically in Damascus
Terrainnarrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains
primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 1,250 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Qornet es Saouda 3,088 m
mean elevation: 514 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: unnamed location near Lake Tiberias -200 m
highest point: Mount Hermon 2,814 m
Natural resourceslimestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land
petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 63.3%
arable land 11.9%; permanent crops 12.3%; permanent pasture 39.1%
forest: 13.4%
other: 23.3% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 75.8%
arable land 25.4%; permanent crops 5.8%; permanent pasture 44.6%
forest: 2.7%
other: 21.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land1,040 sq km (2012)
14,280 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsdust storms, sandstorms
dust storms, sandstorms
volcanism: Syria's two historically active volcanoes, Es Safa and an unnamed volcano near the Turkish border have not erupted in centuries
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills
deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution from raw sewage and petroleum refining wastes; inadequate potable water
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - notesmallest country in continental Asia; Nahr el Litani is the only major river in Near East not crossing an international boundary; rugged terrain historically helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on religion, clan, and ethnicity
the capital of Damascus - located at an oasis fed by the Barada River - is thought to be one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities; there are 42 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (2014 est.)
Population distributionthe majority of the people live on or near the Mediterranean coast, and of these most live in and around the capital, Beirut; favorable growing conditions in the Bekaa Valley, on the southeastern side of the Lebanon Mountains, have attracted farmers and thus the area exhibits a smaller population density
significant population density along the Mediterranean coast; larger concentrations found in the major cities of Damascus, Aleppo (the country's largest city), and Hims (Homs); more than half of the population lives in the coastal plain, the province of Aleppo, and the Euphrates River valley
note: the ongoing civil war has altered the population distribution

Demographics

LebanonSyria
Population6,237,738 (July 2016 est.)
17,185,170 (July 2016 est.)
note: approximately 20,500 Israeli settlers live in the Golan Heights (2014)
Age structure0-14 years: 24.65% (male 786,842/female 750,449)
15-24 years: 16.73% (male 534,040/female 509,663)
25-54 years: 44.44% (male 1,401,857/female 1,370,462)
55-64 years: 7.54% (male 220,020/female 250,288)
65 years and over: 6.64% (male 181,627/female 232,490) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 31.95% (male 2,815,140/female 2,675,166)
15-24 years: 19.65% (male 1,711,847/female 1,664,814)
25-54 years: 39.03% (male 3,342,264/female 3,364,406)
55-64 years: 5.26% (male 447,205/female 457,525)
65 years and over: 4.11% (male 318,691/female 388,112) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 29.9 years
male: 29.3 years
female: 30.5 years (2016 est.)
total: 24.1 years
male: 23.7 years
female: 24.6 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.85% (2016 est.)
1.56% (2016 est.)
Birth rate14.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
21.7 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-1.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-2.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 7.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 15.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 17.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 77.6 years
male: 76.3 years
female: 78.9 years (2016 est.)
total population: 74.9 years
male: 72.5 years
female: 77.4 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.73 children born/woman (2016 est.)
2.55 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.06% (2015 est.)
0.01% (2014 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Lebanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Lebanese
noun: Syrian(s)
adjective: Syrian
Ethnic groupsArab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%
note: many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendants of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians
Arab 90.3%, Kurdish, Armenian, and other 9.7%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS2,400 (2015 est.)
900 (2014 est.)
ReligionsMuslim 54% (27% Sunni, 27% Shia), Christian 40.5% (includes 21% Maronite Catholic, 8% Greek Orthodox, 5% Greek Catholic, 6.5% other Christian), Druze 5.6%, very small numbers of Jews, Baha'is, Buddhists, Hindus, and Mormons
note: 18 religious sects recognized (2012 est.)
Muslim 87% (official; includes Sunni 74% and Alawi, Ismaili, and Shia 13%), Christian 10% (includes Orthodox, Uniate, and Nestorian), Druze 3%, Jewish (few remaining in Damascus and Aleppo)
HIV/AIDS - deaths100 (2015 est.)
less than 100 (2014 est.)
LanguagesArabic (official), French, English, Armenian
Arabic (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian, French, English
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.9%
male: 96%
female: 91.8% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.4%
male: 91.7%
female: 81% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 11 years
male: 12 years
female: 11 years (2014)
total: 9 years
male: 9 years
female: 9 years (2013)
Education expenditures2.6% of GDP (2013)
5.1% of GDP (2009)
Urbanizationurban population: 87.8% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.18% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 57.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.37% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 1% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 92.3% of population
rural: 87.2% of population
total: 90.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 7.7% of population
rural: 12.8% of population
total: 9.9% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 80.7% of population
rural: 80.7% of population
total: 80.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 19.3% of population
rural: 19.3% of population
total: 19.3% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 96.2% of population
rural: 95.1% of population
total: 95.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 3.8% of population
rural: 4.9% of population
total: 4.3% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationBEIRUT (capital) 2.226 million (2015)
Aleppo 3.562 million; DAMASCUS (capital) 2.566 million; Hims (Homs) 1.641 million; Hamah 1.237 million; Lattakia 781,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate15 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
68 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures6.4% of GDP (2014)
3.3% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density2.38 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
1.55 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density3.5 beds/1,000 population (2012)
1.5 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate30.8% (2014)
21.6% (2014)
Contraceptive prevalence rate54.5% (2009)
53.9% (2009/10)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 47.3
youth dependency ratio: 35.4
elderly dependency ratio: 12
potential support ratio: 8.3 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 70
youth dependency ratio: 63.1
elderly dependency ratio: 6.9
potential support ratio: 14.5 (2015 est.)

Government

LebanonSyria
Country name"conventional long form: Lebanese Republic
conventional short form: Lebanon
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah
local short form: Lubnan
former: Greater Lebanon
etymology: derives from the Semitic root ""lbn"" meaning ""white"" and refers to snow-capped Mount Lebanon
"
conventional long form: Syrian Arab Republic
conventional short form: Syria
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Arabiyah as Suriyah
local short form: Suriyah
former: United Arab Republic (with Egypt)
etymology: name ultimately derived from the ancient Assyrians who dominated northern Mesopotamia, but whose reach also extended westward to the Levant; over time, the name came to be associated more with the western area
Government typeparliamentary republic
presidential republic; highly authoritarian regime
Capitalname: Beirut
geographic coordinates: 33 52 N, 35 30 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
name: Damascus
geographic coordinates: 33 30 N, 36 18 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins midnight on the last Friday in March; ends at midnight on the first Friday in November
Administrative divisions8 governorates (mohafazat, singular - mohafazah); Aakkar, Baalbek-Hermel, Beqaa (Bekaa), Beyrouth (Beirut), Liban-Nord (North Lebanon), Liban-Sud (South Lebanon), Mont-Liban (Mount Lebanon), Nabatiye
14 provinces (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Hasakah, Al Ladhiqiyah (Latakia), Al Qunaytirah, Ar Raqqah, As Suwayda', Dar'a, Dayr az Zawr, Dimashq (Damascus), Halab, Hamah, Hims (Homs), Idlib, Rif Dimashq (Damascus Countryside), Tartus
Independence22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
National holidayIndependence Day, 22 November (1943)
Independence Day (Evacuation Day), 17 April (1946); note - celebrates the leaving of the last French troops and the proclamation of full independence
Constitutionhistory: drafted 15 May 1926, adopted 23 May 1926
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic and introduced as a government bill to the Chamber of Deputies or proposed by at least 10 members of the Chamber of Deputies and agreed upon by two-thirds of its members; following government review and approval, the proposal is prepared as a draft amendment and submitted to the Chamber of Deputies for discussion and vote; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of a required two-thirds quorum of the chamber membership and promulgation by the president; amended several times, last in 2004 (2016)
history: several previous; latest issued 15 February 2012, passed by referendum and effective 27 February 2012
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by one-third of the People’s Assembly members; following review by a special Assembly committee, passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote by the Assembly and approval by the president (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of civil law based on the French civil code, Ottoman legal tradition, and religious laws covering personal status, marriage, divorce, and other family relations of the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian communities
mixed legal system of civil and Islamic law (for family courts)
Suffrage21 years of age; compulsory for all males; authorized for women at age 21 with elementary education; excludes military personnel
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Michel AWN (since 31 October 2016)
head of government: Prime Minister Saad al-HARIRI (since 18 December 2016); Deputy Prime Minister Ghassan HASBANI (since 18 December 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president and National Assembly
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly with two-thirds majority vote in the first round and if needed absolute majority vote in a second round for a 6-year term (eligible for non-consecutive terms); (next to be held in 2022); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president in consultation with the National Assembly
election results: Michel AWN elected president; National Assembly vote in second round - Michel AWN (FPM) 83; note - in the initial election held on 23 April 2014, no candidate received the required two-thirds vote, and subsequent attempts failed because the National Assembly lacked a quorum to hold a vote; the president was elected in the 46th attempt on 31 October 2016
chief of state: President Bashar al-ASAD (since 17 July 2000); Vice President Najah al-ATTAR (since 23 March 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister Imad Muhammad Dib KHAMIS (since 22 June 2016); Walid al-MUALEM (since 2006); Deputy Prime Minister Fahd Jasim al-FURAYJ, Lt. Gen. (since 2012)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 3 June 2014 (next to be held in June 2021); the president appoints the vice presidents, prime minister, and deputy prime ministers
election results: Bashar al-ASAD approved as president; percent of vote - Bashar al-ASAD (Ba'th Party) 88.7%, Hassan al-NOURI (independent) 4.3%, Maher HAJJER (independent) 3.2%, other/invalid 3.8%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Nuwab in Arabic or Assemblee Nationale in French (128 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by majority vote; members serve 4-year terms); note - seats are apportioned among the Christian and Muslim denominations
note: Lebanon’s Constitution states the National Assembly cannot conduct regular business until it elects a president when the position is vacant
elections: last held on 7 June 2009 (next to be held in May 2017)
election results: percent of vote by coalition - March 8 Coalition 54.7%, March 14 Coalition 45.3%; seats by coalition - March 14 Coalition 71; March 8 Coalition 57; seats by coalition following 16 July 2012 byelection held to fill one seat - March 14 Coalition 72, March 8 Coalition 56
description: unicameral People's Assembly or Majlis al-Shaab (250 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 13 April 2016 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - NPF 80%, other 20%; seats by party - NPF 200, other 50
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Cassation or Supreme Court (organized into 8 chambers, each with a presiding judge and 2 associate judges); Constitutional Council (consists of 10 members)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by Supreme Judicial Council, a 10-member body headed by the chief justice, and includes other judicial officials; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Council members appointed - 5 by the Council of Ministers and 5 by parliament; members serve 5-year terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; specialized tribunals, religious courts; military courts
highest court(s): Court of Cassation (organized into civil, criminal, religious, and military divisions, each with 3 judges); Supreme Constitutional Court (consists of 7 members)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council or SJC, a judicial management body headed by the minister of justice with 7 members including the national president; judge tenure NA; Supreme Constitutional Court judges nominated by the president and appointed by the SJC; judges appointed for 4-year renewable terms
subordinate courts: courts of first instance; magistrates' courts; religious and military courts; Economic Security Court; Counterterrorism Court (established June 2012)
Political parties and leaders14 March Coalition: Future Movement Bloc [Sa'ad al-HARIRI]
Kata'ib Party [Sami GEMAYEL]
Lebanese Forces or LF [Samir JA'JA]
Marada Movement [Sulayman FRANJIEH]
Social Democrat Hunshaqian Party [Sebouh KELPAKIAN]
Hizballah-led bloc (formerly 8 March Coalition):
Amal Movement [Nabih BERRI]
Ba’th Arab Socialist Party of Lebanon [Fayez SHUKR]
Free Patriotic Movement or FPM [Gibran BASSIL]
Hizballah [Hassan NASRALLAH]
Islamic Actions Front [Sheikh Zuhair al-JU’AYD]
Marada Movement [Sulayman FRANJIEH]
Syrian Social Nationalist Party [Ali QANSO]
Tashnag or Armenian Revolutionary Federation [Hagop PAKRADOUNIAN]
Independent: Progressive Socialist Party or PSP [Walid JUNBLATT]

legal parties/alliances: Arab Socialist Union of Syria or ASU [Safwan al-QUDSI]
National Progressive Front or NPF [Bashar al-ASAD, Suleiman QADDAH] (alliance includes Arab Socialist Renaissance (Ba'th) Party [President Bashar al-ASAD], Socialist Unionist Democratic Party [Fadlallah Nasr al-DIN]
Syrian Communist Party (two branches) [Wissal Farha BAKDASH, Yusuf Rashid FAYSAL]
Syrian Social Nationalist Party or SSNP [As'ad HARDAN]
Unionist Socialist Party [Fayez ISMAIL])
Kurdish parties (considered illegal): Kurdish Azadi Party
Kurdish Democratic Accord Party (al Wifaq) [Fowzi SHINKALI]
Kurdish Democratic Left Party [Saleh KIDDO]
Kurdish Democratic Party (al Parti-Ibrahim wing) [Nasr al-Din IBRAHIM]
Kurdish Democratic Party (al Parti-Mustafa wing)
Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria or KDP-S [Saud AL-MALA]
Kurdish Democratic Patriotic/National Party
Kurdish Democratic Peace Party [Talal MOHAMMED]
Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party or KDPP-Darwish
Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party or KDPP-Muhammad
Kurdish Democratic Union Party or PYD [Salih Muslim MOHAMMAD]
Kurdish Democratic Unity Party [Kamiron Haj ABDU]
Kurdish Democratic Yekiti Party [Mahi al-Din Sheikh ALI]
Kurdish Equality Party [Namet DAOUD]
Kurdish Future Party [Rezan HASSAN]
Kurdish Green Party [ Laqman AHMI]
Kurdish Left Party [Shallal KIDDO]
Kurdish National Democratic Rally in Syria
Kurdish Reform Movement in Syria [Amjad OTHMAN]
Kurdish Reform Movement Party [ Feisal AL-YUSSEF]
Kurdish Yekiti (Union) Party
Kurdistan Communist Party [ Nejm al-Sin MALA’AMIR]
Kurdistan Democratic Party in Syria [Abdul Karim SAKKO]
Kurdistan Liberal Union [Farhad TILO]
Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party
Tiyar al-Mustaqbal [Narin MATINI]
other: Syrian Democratic Party [Mustafa QALAAJI]
Political pressure groups and leadersGrand Mufti of Lebanon [Sheikh Abdul Latif DERIAN]
Maronite Church [Patriarch Bishara al-RA'I]
note: most sects retain militias and a number of Sunni militant groups operate in Palestinian refugee camps
Free Syrian Army
Syrian Muslim Brotherhood or SMB [Muhammad Riyad al-SHAQFAH] (operates in exile in London)
Syrian Opposition Coalition or National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces [Anas al-ABDAH]
note: there are also hundreds of local and provincial political and armed opposition groups that organize protests, provide civilian services, and stage armed attacks
International organization participationABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaries Carla JAZZAR (since 28 January 2016)
chancery: 2560 28th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6300
FAX: [1] (202) 939-6324
consulate(s) general: Detroit, New York, Los Angeles
note: Embassy ceased operation and closed on 18 March 2014
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mounir KOUDMANI (since 1 June 2012)
chancery: 2215 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-6313
FAX: [1] (202) 234-9548
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Elizabeth H. RICHARD (since May 2016)
embassy: Awkar, Lebanon (Awkar facing the Municipality)
mailing address: P. O. Box 70-840, Antelias, Lebanon; from US: US Embassy Beirut, 6070 Beirut Place, Washington, DC 20521-6070
telephone: [961] (4) 542600, 543600
FAX: [961] (4) 544136
chief of mission: ambassador (vacant); US Special Envoy for Syria Michael RATNEY (since 27 July 2015); note - on 6 February 2012, the US closed its embassy in Damascus; Czechia serves as protecting power for US interests in Syria
embassy: Abou Roumaneh, 2 Al Mansour Street, Damascus
mailing address: P. O. Box 29, Damascus
telephone: [963] (11) 3391-4444
FAX: [963] (11) 3391-3999
Flag descriptionthree horizontal bands consisting of red (top), white (middle, double width), and red (bottom) with a green cedar tree centered in the white band; the red bands symbolize blood shed for liberation, the white band denotes peace, the snow of the mountains, and purity; the green cedar tree is the symbol of Lebanon and represents eternity, steadiness, happiness, and prosperity
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; two small, green, five-pointed stars in a horizontal line centered in the white band; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white); identical to the former flag of the United Arab Republic (1958-1961) where the two stars represented the constituent states of Syria and Egypt; the current design dates to 1980
note: similar to the flag of Yemen, which has a plain white band, Iraq, which has an Arabic inscription centered in the white band, and that of Egypt, which has a gold Eagle of Saladin centered in the white band
National anthem"name: ""Kulluna lil-watan"" (All Of Us, For Our Country!)
lyrics/music: Rachid NAKHLE/Wadih SABRA
note: adopted 1927; chosen following a nationwide competition
"
"name: ""Humat ad-Diyar"" (Guardians of the Homeland)
lyrics/music: Khalil Mardam BEY/Mohammad Salim FLAYFEL and Ahmad Salim FLAYFEL
note: adopted 1936, restored 1961; between 1958 and 1961, while Syria was a member of the United Arab Republic with Egypt, the country had a different anthem
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)cedar tree; national colors: red, white, green
hawk; national colors: red, white, black, green
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Lebanon
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: unknown
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Syria; if the father is unknown or stateless, the mother must be a citizen of Syria
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Economy

LebanonSyria
Economy - overviewLebanon has a free-market economy and a strong laissez-faire commercial tradition. The government does not restrict foreign investment; however, the investment climate suffers from red tape, corruption, arbitrary licensing decisions, complex customs procedures, high taxes, tariffs, and fees, archaic legislation, and weak intellectual property rights. The Lebanese economy is service-oriented; main growth sectors include banking and tourism.

The 1975-90 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and derailed Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern entrepot and banking hub. Following the civil war, Lebanon rebuilt much of its war-torn physical and financial infrastructure by borrowing heavily, mostly from domestic banks, which saddled the government with a huge debt burden. Pledges of economic and financial reforms made at separate international donor conferences during the 2000s have mostly gone unfulfilled, including those made during the Paris III Donor Conference in 2007, following the July 2006 war.

Spillover from the Syrian conflict, including the influx of more than 1.1 million registered Syrian refugees, has increased internal tension and slowed economic growth to the 1-2% range in 2011-16, after four years of averaging 8% growth. Syrian refugees have increased the labor supply, but are blamed for pushing more Lebanese into unemployment. Chronic fiscal deficits have increased Lebanon’s debt-to-GDP ratio, the third highest in the world; most of the debt is held internally by Lebanese banks. Weak economic growth limits tax revenues, while the largest government expenditures remain debt servicing, salaries for government workers, and transfers to the electricity sector. These limitations constrain other government spending and limit the government’s ability to invest in necessary infrastructure improvements, such as water, electricity, and transportation.
Syria's economy continues to deteriorate amid the ongoing conflict that began in 2011, declining by more than 70% from 2010 to 2016. The government has struggled to address the effects of international sanctions, widespread infrastructure damage, diminished domestic consumption and production, reduced subsidies, and high inflation, which have caused dwindling foreign exchange reserves, rising budget and trade deficits, a decreasing value of the Syrian pound, and falling household purchasing power.

During 2014, the ongoing conflict and continued unrest and economic decline worsened the humanitarian crisis and elicited a greater need for international assistance, as the number of people in need inside Syria increased from 9.3 million to 12.2 million, and the number of Syrian refugees increased from 2.2 million to more than 3.3 million.

Prior to the turmoil, Damascus had begun liberalizing economic policies, including cutting lending interest rates, opening private banks, consolidating multiple exchange rates, raising prices on some subsidized items, and establishing the Damascus Stock Exchange, but the economy remains highly regulated. Long-run economic constraints include foreign trade barriers, declining oil production, high unemployment, rising budget deficits, increasing pressure on water supplies caused by heavy use in agriculture, rapid population growth, industrial expansion, water pollution, and widespread infrastructure damage.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$85.16 billion (2016 est.)
$84.32 billion (2015 est.)
$83.48 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$50.28 billion (2015 est.)
$55.8 billion (2014 est.)
$61.9 billion (2013 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
the war-driven deterioration of the economy resulted in a disappearance of quality national level statistics in the 2012-13 period
GDP - real growth rate1% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
2% (2014 est.)
-9.9% (2015 est.)
-36.5% (2014 est.)
-30.9% (2013 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$18,500 (2016 est.)
$18,500 (2015 est.)
$18,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$2,900 (2015 est.)
NA (2013 est.)
NA (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 5.7%
industry: 25%
services: 69.4% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 19.5%
industry: 19%
services: 61.5% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line28.6% (2004 est.)
82.5% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices)-1% (2016 est.)
-3.8% (2015 est.)
47.7% (2016 est.)
38.1% (2015 est.)
Labor force1.628 million
note: does not include as many as 1 million foreign workers, nor refugees (2013 est.)
3.37 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
agriculture: 17%
industry: 16%
services: 67% (2008 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
50% (2016 est.)
50% (2015 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $9.953 billion
expenditures: $14.44 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $494.5 million
expenditures: $2.665 billion
note: government projections for FY2016 (2016 est.)
Industriesbanking, tourism, food processing, wine, jewelry, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products, oil refining, metal fabricating
petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, cement, oil seeds crushing, automobile assembly
Industrial production growth rate1.4% (2016 est.)
-2.4% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscitrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats
wheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, milk
Exports$3.108 billion (2016 est.)
$3.551 billion (2015 est.)
$2.304 billion (2016 est.)
$2.14 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesjewelry, base metals, chemicals, consumer goods, fruit and vegetables, tobacco, construction minerals, electric power machinery and switchgear, textile fibers, paper
crude oil, minerals, petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton fiber, textiles, clothing, meat and live animals, wheat
Exports - partnersSaudi Arabia 12.1%, UAE 10.6%, Iraq 7.6%, Syria 7.1%, South Africa 6.6% (2015)
Iraq 64.7%, Saudi Arabia 11.3%, Kuwait 7.1%, UAE 6.1%, Libya 4.6% (2015)
Imports$17.98 billion (2016 est.)
$16.71 billion (2015 est.)
$5.965 billion (2016 est.)
$6.663 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiespetroleum products, cars, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, paper, textile fabrics, tobacco, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals
machinery and transport equipment, electric power machinery, food and livestock, metal and metal products, chemicals and chemical products, plastics, yarn, paper
Imports - partnersChina 11.5%, Italy 7.1%, Germany 6.8%, France 6%, US 5.7%, Russia 4.6%, Greece 4.4% (2015)
Saudi Arabia 28.4%, UAE 13.9%, Iran 10.3%, Turkey 9.2%, Iraq 8.4%, China 6.2% (2015)
Debt - external$40.74 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$37.08 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$5.918 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesLebanese pounds (LBP) per US dollar -
1,507.5 (2016 est.)
1,507.5 (2015 est.)
1,507.5 (2014 est.)
1,507.5 (2013 est.)
1,507.5 (2012 est.)
Syrian pounds (SYP) per US dollar -
497.8 (2016 est.)
236.41 (2015 est.)
236.41 (2014 est.)
153.695 (2013 est.)
64.39 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt161.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
147.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover central government debt, and exclude debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment
57.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
52% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$47.74 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$48.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$504.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$772.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$8.305 billion (2016 est.)
-$9.327 billion (2015 est.)
-$3.148 billion (2015 est.)
-$3.667 billion (2014 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$51.82 billion (2016 est.)
$24.6 billion (2014 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$11.22 billion (30 December 2014 est.)
$10.54 billion (30 December 2013 est.)
$10.42 billion (28 December 2012 est.)
$NA
Central bank discount rate3.5% (31 December 2010)
10% (31 December 2009)
0.75% (31 December 2016)
5% (31 December 2015)
Commercial bank prime lending rate8.2% (31 December 2016 est.)
7.09% (31 December 2015 est.)
32% (31 December 2016 est.)
27% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$103.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$97.05 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.336 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.285 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$6.466 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.998 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$3.017 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.254 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$55.48 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$52.15 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$3.712 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.98 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues19.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-8.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
-8.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 22.1%
male: 22.3%
female: 21.5% (2007 est.)
total: 35.8%
male: 26.6%
female: 71.1% (2011 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 93.4%
government consumption: 13.7%
investment in fixed capital: 27.2%
investment in inventories: 0.6%
exports of goods and services: 20.2%
imports of goods and services: -55.1% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 63%
government consumption: 22.6%
investment in fixed capital: 21.2%
investment in inventories: 11.1%
exports of goods and services: 13.9%
imports of goods and services: -31.8% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving2% of GDP (2016 est.)
1.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
-1.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
20% of GDP (2015 est.)
18.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
14.9% of GDP (2013 est.)

Energy

LebanonSyria
Electricity - production18 billion kWh (2014 est.)
21 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption16 billion kWh (2014 est.)
17 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
100 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports100 million kWh (2014 est.)
1.2 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
30,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
58,260 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
2.5 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
240.7 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2013 est.)
5.205 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption150.1 million cu m (2010 est.)
5.205 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports150.1 million cu m (2010 est.)
249.2 million cu m (2011 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity2.3 million kW (2014 est.)
8.2 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels90.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
82.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants9.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
16.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
111,600 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption143,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
165,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
12,150 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports139,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)
76,050 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy16 million Mt (2013 est.)
49 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
population without electricity: 1,600,000
electrification - total population: 96%
electrification - urban areas: 100%
electrification - rural areas: 81% (2013)

Telecommunications

LebanonSyria
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 970,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 4.082 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 24 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 4.4 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 71 (July 2015 est.)
total: 13.904 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 81 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: repair of the telecommunications system, severely damaged during the civil war, now complete
domestic: two mobile-cellular networks provide good service; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership almost 90 per 100 persons
international: country code - 961; submarine cable links to Cyprus, Egypt, and Syria; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean); coaxial cable to Syria (2015)
general assessment: the armed insurgency that began in 2011 has led to major disruptions to the network and has caused telephone and Internet outages throughout the country
domestic: the number of fixed-line connections increased markedly prior to the civil war in 2011; mobile-cellular service stands at about 80 per 100 persons
international: country code - 963; submarine cable connection to Egypt, Lebanon, and Cyprus; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region); coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey; participant in Medarabtel (2015)
Internet country code.lb
.sy
Internet userstotal: 4.577 million
percent of population: 74% (July 2015 est.)
total: 5.116 million
percent of population: 30% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast media7 TV stations, 1 of which is state owned; more than 30 radio stations, 1 of which is state owned; satellite and cable TV services available; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are accessible through partner stations (2007)
state-run TV and radio broadcast networks; state operates 2 TV networks and a satellite channel; roughly two-thirds of Syrian homes have a satellite dish providing access to foreign TV broadcasts; 3 state-run radio channels; first private radio station launched in 2005; private radio broadcasters prohibited from transmitting news or political content (2007)

Transportation

LebanonSyria
Railwaystotal: 401 km
standard gauge: 319 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 82 km 1.050-m gauge
note: rail system unusable due to damage sustained from fighting in the 1980s and in 2006 (2008)
total: 2,052 km
standard gauge: 1,801 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 251 km 1.050-m gauge (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 6,970 km (includes 170 km of expressways) (2005)
total: 69,873 km
paved: 63,060 km
unpaved: 6,813 km (2010)
Pipelinesgas 88 km (2013)
gas 3,170 km; oil 2,029 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Beirut, Tripoli
container port(s) (TEUs): Beirut (1,034,249)
major seaport(s): Baniyas, Latakia, Tartus
Merchant marinetotal: 29
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 7, carrier 17, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 2 (Syria 2)
registered in other countries: 34 (Barbados 2, Cambodia 5, Comoros 2, Egypt 1, Georgia 1, Honduras 2, Liberia 1, Malta 6, Moldova 1, Panama 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Sierra Leone 2, Togo 6, unknown 1) (2010)
total: 19
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 14, carrier 1
registered in other countries: 166 (Barbados 1, Belize 4, Bolivia 4, Cambodia 22, Comoros 5, Dominica 4, Georgia 24, Lebanon 2, Liberia 1, Malta 4, Moldova 5, North Korea 4, Panama 34, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 9, Sierra Leone 13, Tanzania 23, Togo 6, unknown 1) (2010)
Airports8 (2013)
90 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
total: 29
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
total: 61
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 48 (2013)
Heliports1 (2013)
6 (2013)

Military

LebanonSyria
Military branchesLebanese Armed Forces (LAF): Lebanese Army ((Al Jaysh al Lubnani) includes Lebanese Navy (Al Quwwat al Bahiriyya al Lubnaniya), Lebanese Air Force (Al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Lubnaniya)) (2013)
Syrian Armed Forces: Land Forces, Naval Forces, Air Forces (includes Air Defense Forces), Intelligence Services (Air Force Intelligence, Military Intelligence)
Ministry of Interior: Political Security Directorate, General Intelligence Directorate, National Police Force (2017)
Military service age and obligation17-30 years of age for voluntary military service; 18-24 years of age for officer candidates; no conscription (2013)
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation is 18 months; women are not conscripted but may volunteer to serve (2017)

Transnational Issues

LebanonSyria
Disputes - internationallacking a treaty or other documentation describing the boundary, portions of the Lebanon-Syria boundary are unclear with several sections in dispute; since 2000, Lebanon has claimed Shab'a Farms area in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights; the roughly 2,000-strong UN Interim Force in Lebanon has been in place since 1978
Golan Heights is Israeli-occupied with the almost 1,000-strong UN Disengagement Observer Force patrolling a buffer zone since 1964; lacking a treaty or other documentation describing the boundary, portions of the Lebanon-Syria boundary are unclear with several sections in dispute; since 2000, Lebanon has claimed Shab'a Farms in the Golan Heights; 2004 Agreement and pending demarcation would settle border dispute with Jordan
Illicit drugscannabis cultivation dramatically reduced to 2,500 hectares in 2002 despite continued significant cannabis consumption; opium poppy cultivation minimal; small amounts of Latin American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin transit country on way to European markets and for Middle Eastern consumption; money laundering of drug proceeds fuels concern that extremists are benefiting from drug trafficking
a transit point for opiates, hashish, and cocaine bound for regional and Western markets; weak anti-money-laundering controls and bank privatization may leave it vulnerable to money laundering
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 1,011,366 (Syria); 458,369 (Palestinian refugees); 6,454 (Iraq) (2016)
IDPs: 12,000 (2007 Lebanese security forces' destruction of Palestinian refugee camp) (2015)
stateless persons: undetermined (2016); note - tens of thousands of persons are stateless in Lebanon, including many Palestinian refugees and their descendants, Syrian Kurds denaturalized in Syria in 1962, children born to Lebanese women married to foreign or stateless men; most babies born to Syrian refugees, and Lebanese children whose births are unregistered
refugees (country of origin): 560,000 (Palestinian Refugees) (2016); 16,879 (Iraq)
note: the ongoing civil war has more than 5.1 million Syrian refugees - dispersed in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey - as of July 2017
IDPs: 6.3 million (ongoing civil war since 2011) (2017)
stateless persons: 160,000 (2016); note - Syria's stateless population consists of Kurds and Palestinians; stateless persons are prevented from voting, owning land, holding certain jobs, receiving food subsidies or public healthcare, enrolling in public schools, or being legally married to Syrian citizens; in 1962, some 120,000 Syrian Kurds were stripped of their Syrian citizenship, rendering them and their descendants stateless; in 2011, the Syrian Government granted citizenship to thousands of Syrian Kurds as a means of appeasement; however, resolving the question of statelessness is not a priority given Syria's ongoing civil war
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Lebanon is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking and a transit point for Eastern European women and children subjected to sex trafficking in other Middle Eastern countries; women and girls from South and Southeast Asia and an increasing number from East and West Africa are recruited by agencies to work in domestic service but are subject to conditions of forced labor; under Lebanon’s artiste visa program, women from Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Dominican Republic enter Lebanon to work in the adult entertainment industry but are often forced into the sex trade; Lebanese children are reportedly forced into street begging and commercial sexual exploitation, with small numbers of Lebanese girls sex trafficked in other Arab countries; Syrian refugees are vulnerable to forced labor and prostitution
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Lebanon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Lebanon was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; law enforcement efforts in 2014 were uneven; the number of convicted traffickers increased, but judges lack of familiarity with anti-trafficking law meant that many offenders were not brought to justice; the government relied heavily on an NGO to identify and provide service to trafficking victims; and its lack of thoroughly implemented victim identification procedures resulted in victims continuing to be arrested, detained, and deported for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked (2015)
current situation: as conditions continue to deteriorate due to Syria’s civil war, human trafficking has increased; Syrians remaining in the country and those that are refugees abroad are vulnerable to trafficking; Syria is a source and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Syrian children continue to be forcibly recruited by government forces, pro-regime militias, armed opposition groups, and terrorist organizations to serve as soldiers, human shields, and executioners; ISIL forces Syrian women and girls and Yazidi women and girls taken from Iraq to marry its fighters, where they experience domestic servitude and sexual violence; Syrian refugee women and girls are forced into exploitive marriages or prostitution in neighboring countries, while displaced children are forced into street begging domestically and abroad
tier rating: Tier 3 - the government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Syria’s violent conditions enabled human trafficking to flourish; the government made no effort to investigate, prosecute, or convict trafficking offenders or complicit government officials, including those who forcibly recruited child soldiers; authorities did not identify victims and failed to ensure victims, including child soldiers, were protected from arrest, detention, and severe abuse as a result of being trafficked (2015)

Source: CIA Factbook