The Geography of Syria reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Geography of Syria

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Syria is a country in Southwest Asia, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey. Considered to be one of the fifteen states that comprise the so-called "Cradle of Humanity."

Geographic coordinates: 35 00 N, 38 00 E

Map references: Middle East

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

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 nautical miles
territorial sea: 35 nautical miles

Climate: Orographic lift over Ansariyah Mountains brings rainfall to the coastal plain and valleys. Otherwise 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: semiarid; Ansariyah Mountains in the west,then a narrow coastal plain progressing to desert plateau that covers most of the country. In the north, the Taurus Mountains separate Syria from Turkey, and in the southwest, the Anti-Lebanon Mountains form the border of Syria and Lebanon. The Orontes River flows northward in a valley east of the Ansariyah mountains, and the Euphrates River flows from southeast Turkey on its way to the Persian Gulf.

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: unnamed location near Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) -200 m
highest point: Mount Hermon 2,814 m

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

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

Irrigated land: 9,060 kmò (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, Wetlands
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 1999 est.)

See also : Syria