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Category:Syria

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Following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, France administered Syria until its independence in 1946 A.D.. The country lacked political stability, however, and experienced a series of military coups during its first decades. Syria united with Egypt in February 1958 A.D. to form the United Arab Republic. In September 1961 A.D., the two entities separated, and the Syrian Arab Republic was reestablished. In November 1970 A.D., Hafiz al-Asad, a member of the Socialist Ba'th Party and the minority Alawite sect, seized power in a bloodless coup and brought political stability to the country. In the 1967 A.D. Arab-Israeli War, Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel. During the 1990s, Syria and Israel held occasional peace talks over its return. Following the death of President al-Asad, his son, Bashar al-Asad, was approved as president by popular referendum in July 2000 A.D.. Syrian troops - stationed in Lebanon since 1976 A.D. in an ostensible peacekeeping role - were withdrawn in April 2005 A.D.. During the July-August 2006 A.D. conflict between Israel and Hizballah, Syria placed its military forces on alert but did not intervene directly on behalf of its ally Hizballah. Arabic is the official language; Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, and Circassian are widely understood; French and English are somewhat understood.



---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Syria - (Heb. Aram ), the name in the Old Testament given to the whole country which lay to the north-east of Phoenicia, extending to beyond the Euphrates and the Tigris. Mesopotamia is called (Genesis 24:10; Deuteronomy 23:4) Aram-naharain (= Syria of the two rivers), also Padan-aram (Genesis 25:20). Other portions of Syria were also known by separate names, as Aram-maahah (1 Chronicles 19:6), Aram-beth-rehob (2 Samuel 10:6), Aram-zobah (2 Samuel 10:6, 2 Samuel 10:8). All these separate little kingdoms afterwards became subject to Damascus. In the time of the Romans, Syria included also a part of Palestine and Asia Minor. "From the historic annals now accessible to us, the history of Syria may be divided into three periods:, The first, the period when the power of the Pharaohs was dominant over the fertile fields or plains of Syria and the merchant cities of Tyre and Sidon, and when such mighty conquerors as Thothmes III. and Rameses II. could claim dominion and levy tribute from the nations from the banks of the Euphrates to the borders of the Libyan desert. Second, this was followed by a short period of independence, when the Jewish nation in the south was growing in power, until it reached its early zenith in the golden days of Solomon; and when Tyre and Sidon were rich cities, sending their traders far and wide, over land and sea, as missionaries of civilization, while in the north the confederate tribes of the Hittites held back the armies of the kings of Assyria. The third, and to us most interesting, period is that during which the kings of Assyria were dominant over the plains of Syria; when Tyre, Sidon, Ashdod, and Jerusalem bowed beneath the conquering armies of Shalmaneser, Sargon, and Sennacherib; and when at last Memphis and Thebes yielded to the power of the rulers of Nineveh and Babylon, and the kings of Assyria completed with terrible fulness the bruising of the reed of Egypt so clearly foretold by the Hebrew prophets." - Boscawen.

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