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Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French administered the area as Syria until granting it independence in 1946. The new country lacked political stability, however, and experienced a series of military coups during its first decades. Syria united with Egypt in February 1958 to form the United Arab Republic. In September 1961, the two entities separated, and the Syrian Arab Republic was reestablished. In November 1970, Hafiz al-ASAD, a member of the Socialist Ba'th Party and the minority Alawi sect, seized power in a bloodless coup and brought political stability to the country. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel. During the 1990s, Syria and Israel held occasional peace talks over its return. Following the death of President al-ASAD, his son, Bashar al-ASAD, was approved as president by popular referendum in July 2000. Syrian troops - stationed in Lebanon since 1976 in an ostensible peacekeeping role - were withdrawn in April 2005. During the July-August 2006 conflict between Israel and Hizballah, Syria placed its military forces on alert but did not intervene directly on behalf of its ally Hizballah. In May 2007 Bashar al-ASAD was elected to his second term as president.


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Communications

Telephones - main lines in use World Ranking: 40
4.069 million (2009)

Telephones - mobile cellular World Ranking: 62
11.696 million (2009)

Telephone system
General assessment
Fair system currently undergoing significant improvement and digital upgrades, including fiber-optic technology and expansion of the network to rural areas
Domestic
The number of fixed-line connections has increased markedly since 2000; mobile-cellular service growing with telephone subscribership exceeding 50 per 100 persons in 2010
International
Country code - 963; submarine cable connection to Egypt, Lebanon, and Cyprus; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region); coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey; participant in Medarabtel

Broadcast media
State-run TV and radio broadcast networks; state operates 2 TV networks and a satellite channel; roughly two-thirds of Syrian homes have a satellite dish providing access to foreign TV broadcasts; 3 state-run radio channels; first private radio station launched in 2005; private radio broadcasters prohibited from transmitting news or political content (2007)

Internet country code
.sy

Internet hosts World Ranking: 187
420 (2010)

Internet users World Ranking: 52
4.469 million (2009)


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  Syria (Damascus):


  GPS points from Syria (Damascus)

Mada'in Aleppo

Choub Merkez Aleppo

Tall Takli Aleppo

Al Kunah Idlib

An Naftiyah Al Asakah

Khuwaytilah Fawqani Al-hasakah


Najjara Idlib




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