Geography of Syria

Syria is a Middle Eastern country, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey.

Geographic coordinates: 35 00 N, 38 00 E

Map references: Middle East

Area:
total: 185,180 kmē
land: 184,050 kmē
water: 1,130 kmē
note: includes 1,295 kmē 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 nautical miles
territorial sea: 35 nautical miles

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 (Sea of Galilee) -200 m
highest point: Mount Hermon 2,814 m

Natural resources: petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, 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 kmē (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

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