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Syria Geography Profile 2017

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LocationMiddle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey
Geographic coordinates35 00 N, 38 00 E
Map referencesMiddle East
Areatotal: 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 - comparativeslightly more than 1.5 times the size of Pennsylvania
Land boundariestotal: 2,363 km
border countries (5): Iraq 599 km, Israel 83 km, Jordan 379 km, Lebanon 403 km, Turkey 899 km
Coastline193 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climatemostly 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
Terrainprimarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 514 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: unnamed location near Lake Tiberias -200 m
highest point: Mount Hermon 2,814 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 75.8%
arable land 25.4%; permanent crops 5.8%; permanent pasture 44.6%
forest: 2.7%
other: 21.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land14,280 sq km (2012)
Population distributionsignificant 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
Natural hazardsdust 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; 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, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - notethe 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.)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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