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Syria Geography 1999

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

    Geographic coordinates: 35 00 N, 38 00 E

    Map references: Middle East

    total: 185,180 sq km
    land: 184,050 sq km
    water: 1,130 sq km
    note: includes 1,295 sq km of Israeli-occupied territory

    Area—comparative: slightly larger than North Dakota

    Land boundaries:
    total: 2,253 km
    border countries: 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

    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 hitting Damascus

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

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: unnamed location near Lake Tiberias -200 m
    highest point: Mount Hermon 2,814 m

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

    Land use:
    arable land: 28%
    permanent crops: 4%
    permanent pastures: 43%
    forests and woodland: 3%
    other: 22% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 9,060 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: dust storms, sandstorms

    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

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

    Geography—note: there are 42 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (August 1998 est.)

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    Revised 1-Mar-99
    Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)