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Syria (Arabic: سورياSūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic: الجمهورية العربية السوريةal-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians, Mandeans and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Isma'ilis, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, Yazidis, and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria.

Syria is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism. It is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement; it has become suspended from the Arab League on November 2011 and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and self-suspended from the Union for the Mediterranean.

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In the news

21 January 2019 – Syrian Civil War
A suicide car bomb attack kills five members of the Syrian Democratic Forces while they were out on a patrol with U.S. troops in northeastern Syria. (Telegraph)
The Israeli military says it had attacked Iranian military targets in Damascus including the city's international airport in response to a missile attack. (CNN)
21 January 2019 –
Germany revokes the license of Iranian airline Mahan Air, citing the airline's involvement in Syria and other security concerns. (Reuters)
18 January 2019 – Syrian Civil War
A massive explosion targetting a Tahrir al-Sham base in Idlib kills 15 people and wounds 20 others. A car bomb is reported to have been used in the attack. (AMN)
16 January 2019 – Manbij bombing
In Manbij, Syria, a suicide attack claimed by ISIL causes at least 19 casualties. Among them, two U.S. soldiers, a Pentagon Civilian, and a civilian contractor are reported dead and three other Service Members wounded. (The Washington Post)
13 January 2019 – Syrian Civil War
The Syrian government and pro-government militants fire artillery into villages inside the Idlib de-escalation zone, killing one civilian and leaving two civilians injured. (AA)



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