The area designated by the word has changed over time.
Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, and having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene, Sophene, and Adiabene.
One of the earliest written texts from Syria is a trading agreement between Vizier Ibrium of Ebla and an ambiguous kingdom called Abarsal c. Scholars believe the language of Ebla to be among the oldest known written Semitic languages after Akkadian.
Recent classifications of the Eblaite language have shown that it was an East Semitic language, closely related to the Akkadian language.
It gained de-jure independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945, when Republic of Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which legally ended the former French Mandate – although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946.
The post-independence period was tumultuous, and a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–71.
Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria.
Syria is an unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism.
Since approximately 10,000 BC, Syria was one of centers of Neolithic culture (known as Pre-Pottery Neolithic A) where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world.
Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise.
As a result, a number of self-proclaimed political entities have emerged on Syrian territory, including the Syrian opposition, Rojava, Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
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