Syria Government - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

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 type

presidential republic; highly authoritarian regime

Capital

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 last Friday in October

etymology: Damascus is a very old city; its earliest name, Temeseq, first appears in an Egyptian geographical list of the 15th century B.C., but the meaning is uncertain

Administrative divisions

14 provinces (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Hasakah, Al Ladhiqiyah (Latakia), Al Qunaytirah, Ar Raqqah, As Suwayda', Dar'a, Dayr az Zawr, Dimashq (Damascus), Halab (Aleppo), Hamah, Hims (Homs), Idlib, Rif Dimashq (Damascus Countryside), Tartus

Independence

17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)

National holiday

Independence Day (Evacuation Day), 17 April (1946); note - celebrates the leaving of the last French troops and the proclamation of full independence

Constitution

history: several previous; latest issued 15 February 2012, passed by referendum and effective 27 February 2012; note - in late January 2021, UN-sponsored talks, which began in late 2019 between delegates from government and opposition forces to draft a new constitution, resumed following a delay in mid-2020 because several delegates tested positive for the COVID-19 virus

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

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil and Islamic (sharia) law (for family courts)

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICC

Citizenship

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

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

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 Hussein ARNOUS (since 30 August 2020); Deputy Prime Minister Ali Abdullah AYOUB (Gen.) (since 30 August 2020)

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 26 May 2021(next to be held in 2028); the president appoints the vice presidents, prime minister, and deputy prime ministers

election results: Bashar al-ASAD elected president; percent of vote - Bashar al-ASAD (Ba'th Party)95.2%, Mahmoud Ahmad MAREI (Democratic Arab Socialist Union) 3.3%, Abdullah Sallum ABDULLAH (Socialist Unionist Party) 1.5%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral People's Assembly or Majlis al-Shaab (250 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority preferential vote to serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 19 July 2020 (next to be held in 2024)

election results: percent of vote by party - NPF 80%, other 20%; seats by party - NPF 200, other 50; composition - men 217, women 33, percent of women 13.2%

Judicial branch

highest courts: 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 (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 serve 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 leaders

legal parties/alliances:
Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party [Bashar al-ASAD, regional secretary]
Arab Socialist Renaissance (Ba'th) Party [President Bashar al-ASAD]
Arab Socialist Union of Syria or ASU [Safwan al-QUDSI]
Democratic Arab Socialist Union [Hassan Abdul AZIM, general secretary] 
National Progressive Front or NPF [Bashar al-ASAD, Suleiman QADDAH] (alliance includes Arab Socialist Renaissance (Ba'th) Party, Socialist Unionist Democratic Party)
Socialist Unionist Party [Fayiz ISMAIL]
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 [Ali HAIDAR]
Unionist Socialist Party [Fayez ISMAIL]

Major Kurdish parties
 
Kurdish Democratic Union Party or PYD [Shahoz HASAN and Aysha HISSO]
Kurdish National Council [Sa'ud MALA]
 
other: Syrian Democratic Party [Mustafa QALAAJI]

International organization participation

ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, ICSID, 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, WBG, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)

chancery: 2215 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 232-6313

FAX: [1] (202) 234-9548

note: Embassy ceased operations and closed on 18 March 2014

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); note - on 6 February 2012, the US closed its embassy in Damascus; Czechia serves as a protecting power for US interests in Syria

telephone: [963] (11) 3391-4444

embassy: Abou Roumaneh, 2 Al Mansour Street, Damascus

mailing address: P. O. Box 29, Damascus

FAX: [963] (11) 3391-3999

Flag description

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 symbol(s)

hawk; national colors: red, white, black, green

National anthem

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



NOTE: The information regarding Syria on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Syria 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Syria 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.