Why is the Syria problem still there?
Hanisauland: Lexicon @todo: from Preprocess
- Official name:
- Syrian Arab Republic
- Syrian lira (also Syrian pound)
- 18.6 million
- National holiday:
- 17th April
Syria is located in the Middle East with access to the Mediterranean Sea. Neighboring countries are Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel. In large parts of the country there is a dry desert climate. The supply of drinking water and water for irrigating the fields is a major problem in many places. In winter it can get very cold in the high country and even snow falls.
Dictatorship and civil war
The Syrian Arab Republic is officially a socialist, people's democratic state headed by a president. The Al-Assad family turned it into a dictatorship. President Bashar al-Assad has been dictator in the country since 2000.
In 2011 there were initially peaceful protests among the population for more freedom and against the dictatorship. The regime then used brutal violence against the population. The civil war broke out. More and more warring parties, among them the terrorist group "Islamic State", but also foreign states have taken part in this war. More than 500,000 people died in the fighting and more than five million people have fled Syria. Most of them live in neighboring countries. Another six million people live as refugees in their own country. Many Syrians also fled to Germany in 2015 and 2016. During the war, they lost their homes, and often family members and friends as well. Many refugees are children and young people under the age of 17.
Around 22 million people lived in Syria before the outbreak of civil war, around a fifth of them in the greater area of the capital Damascus. Most of the residents of Syria are Arabs. The country's ethnic minorities include Kurds, Armenians and Turkmens. Most of the people in the country belong to the Sunni Islamic denomination. Christians and other Islamic currents are minorities.
Big economic problems
Syria's economy suffered badly from the war. Until the war, people mainly worked in agriculture and the textile industry. The country has large oil reserves. Because of the civil war, however, only a small amount of oil can currently be extracted.
A long history and a lot of culture
Syria was already a province of its own in the Empire of the Ancient Romans. The independent state of Syria has existed since 1946. Magnificent old cities such as Damascus and Aleppo or the ancient oasis city of Palmyra testified to this long history until a few years ago and attracted many visitors from abroad. But the long civil war has not only destroyed the lives of many people. Many cities are also in ruins, and cultural monuments that are thousands of years old have been destroyed.
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