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Syria

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Religion, Children/Youth
Our success in supporting them to win souls, train young preachers and start new churches, certainly proves the scoffers to be wrong. In their rush to judgment, they forget that even we, ministers who are from the West, are ourselves, national preachers. And we have also had our share of ...See More fakes and failures in the ministry. Show Less
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Environment
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Environment
A possible and oft-overlooked driving force of the civil war in Syria is the desertification and mismanagement of the water resources in the country.1 The desertification caused tens of thousands of families to lose their agricultural livelihood and in turn created a massive internal migration.2 The mass migration served as a catalyst for the war and internal strife.3 Climate change also affects the agricultural outputs of the country, whose economy depends heavily on agriculture. Climate change within the country has caused water scarcity and limited food production. Additionally, Syria's water supply was cut in half between 2002 and 2008 through mismanagement and overuse.4 The country's lucrative oil and gas industry has also suffered the effects of these environmental issues.5

Show References
1http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/10/drought-helped-caused-syrias-war-will-climate-change-bring-more-like-it/
2 Ibid
3 Ibid
4 http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/may/13/1
5 Ibid
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Syria News

U.S. News & World Report 
United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura attends a news conference after meetings during the Intra Syria talks at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland March 24, 2017. See more..
Foreign Policy (blog) 
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced a plan to establish safe zones in war-torn countries to allow refugees to return home, setting the stage for a dramatic shift in refugee policy and a greater U.S. and Western military footprint in Iraq and ... See more..
U.S. News & World Report 
Syria's U.N. ambassador says hundreds of American personnel are "invading my country" and insists any effort to liberate the city of Raqqa from control of the radical Islamic State group should be done in coordination with the Damascus government. See more..
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The News-Press 
Images from Patrick Ryan Kasprik's experience while in Syria and the Middle East as a combat medic fighting against ISIS. Courtesy of Patrick Ryan Kasprik, Courtesy of Patrick Ryan Kasprik. Images from Patrick Ryan Kasprik's experience while ... See more..
U.S. News & World Report 
In this connection, Russia with the help of Turkey has worked out a tenuous ceasefire in Syria; the odds of its holding and turning into a real political process are poor. Assad has killed too many Syrians for any significant part of the opposition to ... See more..
PBS NewsHour 
The Pentagon has authorized the deployment of 400 additional troops to Syria in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State militant group. Judy Woodruff discusses the U.S.'s deepening military involvement and the complexities with former Defense ... See more..
Wall Street Journal (subscription) 
WASHINGTON—The U.S. sanctioned 30 individuals and entities from 10 countries, many of them Chinese and Russian, for transferring sensitive missile technology to Iran and flouting export controls on Iran, North Korea and Syria, the State Department ... See more..
USA TODAY 
WASHINGTON — The U.S.-led coalition flew a contingent of Syrian opposition forces behind enemy lines in a daring raid to cut off the Islamic State's remaining supply line to the militants' de facto capital of Raqqa, U.S. officials said Wednesday. The ... See more..
BBC News 
Fariha remembers the exact moment when Islamic State fighters shattered her life in Palmyra. "It was a quarter to five in the morning. We were asleep and heard a knock on the door," she tells me as we sit on thin, grey mattresses in an abandoned school ... See more..
New York Times 
After earning $800,000 in 2015 by sneaking migrants out of Turkey, a smuggler says he has left the guilt and complications of his business behind — mostly. And a Syrian refugee boy, homeless and out of school, must keep roaming the country to find ... See more..
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Geography

Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey
Area

Total 185,180 sq km
Land 183,630 sq km
Water 1,550 sq km

***NOTE*** includes 1,295 sq km of Israeli-occupied territory
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 in Damascus ;
Natural Resources

petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower ;
Natural Hazards

dust storms, sandstorms

volcanism: Syria's two historically active volcanoes, Es Safa and an unnamed volcano near the Turkish border have not erupted in centuries Syria's two historically active volcanoes, Es Safa and an unnamed volcano near the Turkish border have not erupted in centuries ;
Current Environmental Issues

deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution from raw sewage and petroleum refining wastes; inadequate potable water ;

Demographics

Nationality
Syrian
Population
22,457,336 (July 2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Languages
Religions

Finances

Despite modest economic growth and reform prior to the outbreak of unrest, Syria's economy continues to suffer the effects of the ongoing conflict that began in 2011. The economy further contracted in 2012 because of international sanctions and reduced domestic consumption and production, and inflation has risen sharply. The government has struggled to address the effects of economic decline, which include dwindling foreign exchange reserves, rising budget and trade deficits, and the decreasing value of the Syrian pound. Prior to the unrest, Damascus began liberalizing economic policies, including cutting lending interest rates, opening private banks, consolidating multiple exchange rates, raising ...See More prices on some subsidized items, and establishing the Damascus Stock Exchange. The economy remains highly regulated by the government. Long-run economic constraints include foreign trade barriers, declining oil production, high unemployment, rising budget deficits, and increasing pressure on water supplies caused by heavy use in agriculture, rapid population growth, industrial expansion, and water pollution. Show Less ;
GDP Purchasing Power Parity

$107.6 billion (2011 est.); $110.1 billion (2010 est.); $113.9 billion (2010 est.)
Gross National Saving

12.5% of GDP (2012 est.); 15% of GDP (2011 est.); 26.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
Agriculture Products

wheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, milk
Industries

petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, cement, oil seeds crushing, car assembly