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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 to the southwest, 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

25 March 2019 – United States recognition of the Golan Heights as part of Israel, Israel–United States relations, Syria–United States relations
U.S. President Donald Trump signs a proclamation formally recognising the disputed Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory. (Al Jazeera)
Syria's Foreign Affairs Ministry condemns Trump's move as a "flagrant violation of the sovereignty of Syria". (Xinhuanet)
23 March 2019 – Syrian Civil War
Battle of Baghuz Fawqani
The Syrian Democratic Forces announce the capture of the last territory held by ISIL in Syria. (DW)
21 March 2019 – Israel–United States relations
Syria has not publicly responded to President Trump's decision. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, declares this action irrelevant and illegal. (The Times of Israel) (Ynet)
19 March 2019 – Syrian Civil War, International military intervention against ISIL, Battle of Baghuz Fawqani
Syrian Democratic Forces declares progress in Syria after an ISIL camp on the outskirts of Baghuz is captured. (NPR) (Fox News)



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