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Syria Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey

    • Map references:
      Middle East

    • Area:

        total area:
        185,180 sq km

        land area:
        184,050 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly larger than North Dakota

        includes 1,295 sq km of Israeli-occupied territory

    • Land boundaries:
      total 2,253 km, Iraq 605 km, Israel 76 km, Jordan 375 km, Lebanon 375 km, Turkey 822 km

    • Coastline:
      193 km

    • Maritime claims:

        contiguous zone:
        41 nm

        territorial sea:
        35 nm

    • International disputes:
      separated from Israel by the 1949 Armistice Line; Golan Heights is Israeli occupied; Hatay question with Turkey; ongoing dispute over water development plans by Turkey for the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers; Syrian troops in northern Lebanon since October 1976

    • Climate:
      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 hits Damascus

    • Terrain:
      primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west

    • Natural resources:
      petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      10,000 sq km (1992)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution from dumping of raw sewage and wastes from petroleum refining; inadequate supplies of potable water

        natural hazards:
        dust storms, sandstorms

        international agreements:
        party to - Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Desertification, Environmental Modification

    • Note:
      there are 42 Jewish settlements and civilian land use sites in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (August 1994 est.)

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