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Official name: Syrian Arab Republic
Capital city: Damascus
Area: 185,180 square kilometers (71,498 square miles)
Population: 22.5 million
People: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians and others 9.7%
Languages: Arabic, French, Kurdish and English
Religions: Sunni Muslim (72%); Alawi Muslim (14%); Christian (12%); Shia Muslim and Druze minorities
Currency: Syrian pound (also called Lira – LSYR)
Government type: Dominant-party unitary semi-presidential state
U.S. – Syria relations:
The United States established diplomatic relations with Syria in 1944 following U.S. determination that Syria had achieved effective independence from a French-administered mandate. Syria severed diplomatic relations with the United States in 1967 in the wake of the Arab-Israeli War. Relations were reestablished in 1974. Syria has been on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism since the list’s inception in 1979. Because of its continuing support and safe haven for terrorist organizations, Syria is subject to legislatively mandated penalties, including export sanctions under the Syrian Accountability Act and ineligibility to receive most forms of U.S. aid or to purchase U.S. military equipment.
Reference: U.S. State Department