Home  |  Contact us  |  Search
Middle East countries
To clickable map
Middle East subjects
To clickable list
Support democracy
Arab & Iranian democrats
Support Israel over tyranny
Videos and presentations
Download MEI intro
Guides for activists
Subscribe newsletter
Support MEI
About us
Link to us
Spread the word
Maps, documents, treaties
Think tanks
Media & commentators
Israeli media
Media & NGO monitors
Arab & Iranian media
Arab & Iranian regimes
Arab & Iranian terror
Arab & Iranian democrats
Hatred of non-Muslims
Friends of Israel
State of Israel

"United Arab Emirates
Honor 2006"

SYRIA Map Geography People Economy Military Library of Congress Country Study
State Sponsor of Terrorism - Tyranny -Discrimination of Women
WMD - Largest chemical weapons capability in the Middle East
Transit for Drugs Bound for Western Markets
Impunity for "honor" killings of women
Tens of thousands of Arab Syrian victims when regime ravaged Syrian Hama
300,000 Muslim Kurds are denied Syrian nationality along with the rights to vote, own property, go to state schools, or attain government jobs
Muslim Turkey mobilized in 1998 the army for war against Arab Syria
Syrian officialmaps fake that the Turkish province Hatay is inside Syria

Real map of Syria (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Jan 16, 2006)
Fakeofficial map (Syrian Ministry of Tourism website, Jan 16, 2006)
[red - MEI]

Syria does not have peaceful relations with any Arab state. At best, its relations with its neighbors range from hostility to mutual dislike. Syria's relations veer from hostile to cool with Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority and so on:
Invaded Israel in 1948 with the declared intent of destroying her

Invaded Arab Jordan ("Black September" 1970)
Until 2008, Syria never accepted the legitimacy of a separate, sovereign Lebanese state, had no diplomatic relations and no delineated border with Lebanon | In Syrian textbooks Lebanon appears as part of "Greater Syria" | Occupied Arab Lebanon from 1976 - 2005
Occupied in 1948-1967 former Mandate for Palestine land (Himmah area)
Occupies Arab Jordanian land since 1970
Arab Jordan occupies land belonging to Arab Syria
The Golan Heights were transferred from the British Mandate of Palestine to the French Mandate of Syria in 1923, and are partly ruled by Israel since 1967

Compare Freedom Score of Syria (Not Free) and Israel (Free)
Source: Freedom House
(PDF, 187 KB)

Compare Human Development Index of Syria (0.685) and Israel (0.905) (PDF, 670 KB)
Source: United Nations Human Development Report 2003

Compare Corruption Index of Syria (3.8), Israel (7.3), Germany (7.3) and USA (7.7)
Source: Transparency International
(PDF, 1.8 MB)

The Massacre of Hama (London-based Syrian Human Rights Committee): "For 27 days starting from February 2nd 1982, the Syrian forces put Hama under a siege, shelled the town with all kinds of artillery, then Hama was ravaged by military and special forces, and its civilians were severely punished. The estimated victims range between 30000 and 40000 civilians including ladies, children and elderlies. 15000 civilians were considered lost since then and had never traced back. Thousands of civilians were obliged to desert the town, as one third of Hama had been completely destroyed. Many mosques, churches and historical buildings were left in rubbles as a consequence to the government’s artillery bombardment. Foreign press reports said that the Syrian government had given the military forces full authority to finish the opposition and to punish all sympathisers."

Syria, Hama (ArabNet): "Much of the old town, including the Grand Mosque, was destroyed during internal troubles in 1982 ..."

[London-based] Syrian Human Rights Committe (SHRC) Annual Report - 2003

Assad's Regime More Criminal than Saddam's Regime. Ahmad Al-Jarallah, editor of the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyasa, wrote a series of articles which were critical of the Syrian regime (MEMRI, Apr 22, 2003): "Syria, and with it the same supporters and mercenaries, say that it is a Zionist game, and that Iraq was conquered by the American-Israeli forces. It says that the U.S. is carrying out a Sharonist program in this country, the goal of which is to impose Pax Israeliana on the region, and every one of the statements are part of the game of cat and mouse and are aimed at gaining time. What is demanded from Syria is self-examination that will show that the Damascus regime suffers greatly from sadistic behavior, and that it is identical to Saddam, in the parameters of dictatorship, of single-party rule, and in its refraining from development, change, and adopting the principles of freedom and democracy."

Syria: Addicted to Death (Paris based Iranian Amir Taheri, New York Post June 1, 2003):
"A scorpion's sting is not a matter of behavior but an existential reality. The Syrian regime cannot stop using terrorism as a routine part of policy. It cannot stop violating the human rights of its citizens. To urge the regime to end its military occupation of Lebanon is like asking a confirmed alcoholic to give up the bottle. Syria, a one-party dictatorship, cannot but sabotage the development of a democratic system in Iraq."

Lebanon Report (Freedom House, July 18, 2002): "Syria continues to occupy the country with approximately 30,000 troops."
Genocides, Crimes and Massacres Committed by the PLO and the Syrians Against the Lebanese, 1975-2002 (Guardians of the Cedars)
End the occupation (Alan Dershowitz, professor at Harvard Law School, JP, Sep 20, 2004): "When is the last time you heard about a demonstration on a university campus calling for the end of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon? How about never?"

Black September in Jordan 1970-1971 (OnWar): During a bitterly fought ten-day civil war, primarily between the PLA and Jordan Arab Army, Syria sent about 200 tanks to aid the fedayeen. ... Under attack from the Jordanian army and in response to outside pressures, the Syrian forces began to withdraw from Jordan on September 24, having lost more than half their armor in fighting with the Jordanians.

Syria designated as State Sponsor of Terrorism by the United States

Hizballah (Party of God) a.k.a. Islamic Jihad, Revolutionary Justice Organization, Organization of the Oppressed on Earth, and Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine (Background Information on Designated Foreign Terrorist OrganizationsPatterns of Global Terrorism -2001, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State: "Three members of Hizballah,'Imad Mughniyah, Hasan Izz-al-Din, and Ali Atwa, are on the FBI's list of 22 Most Wanted Terrorists ... Receives substantial amounts of financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid from Iran and received diplomatic, political, and logistical support from Syria."

The Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) (Patterns of Global Terrorism -2001, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. U.S. State Department: "Receives financial assistance from Iran and limited logistic support assistance from Syria."

Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), (Patterns of Global Terrorism -2001, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. U.S. State Department: "Receives safe haven and some logistical assistance from Syria."

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC, (Patterns of Global Terrorism -2001, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. U.S. State Department: "Receives support from Syria and financial support from Iran."

Report on Human Rights Practices 2001 (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor): "The political system places virtually absolute authority in the hands of the President. Former President Hafiz Al-Asad died on June 10, 2000, after 30 years in power. Immediately following Al-Asad's death, the Parliament amended the Constitution, reducing the mandatory minimum age of the President from 40 to 34 years old, which allowed his son Bashar Al-Asad legally to be eligible for nomination by the ruling Ba'th party. On July 10, 2000, Bashar was elected by referendum in which he ran unopposed and received 97.29 percent of the vote. Key decisions regarding foreign policy, national security, internal politics, and the economy are made by the President, with counsel from his ministers, high-ranking members of the ruling Ba'th Party, and a relatively small circle of security advisers. Although the Parliament is elected every 4 years, the Ba'th Party is ensured a majority. The Parliament may not initiate laws but only assesses and at times modifies those proposed by the executive branch. In general all three branches of government are influenced to varying degrees by leaders of the Ba'th Party, whose primacy in state institutions is mandated by the Constitution. The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, but security courts are subject to political influence. The regular courts generally display independence, although political connections and bribery may influence verdicts.

The powerful role of the security services in government, which extends beyond strictly security matters, stems in part from the state of emergency that has been in place almost continuously since 1963.

The Constitution provides for right to express opinions freely in speech and in writing, but the Government restricts these rights significantly in practice. The Government strictly controls the dissemination of information and permits no written or oral criticism of the President, the President's family, the Ba'th Party, the military, or the legitimacy of the Government. The Government also does not permit sectarian issues to be raised. Detention and beatings for individual expressions of opinion that violate these unwritten rules at times occur …

Although citizens ostensibly vote for the President and Members of Parliament, they do not have the right to change their government.

The Constitution provides for equal rights and equal opportunity for all citizens. In practice membership in the Ba'th Party or close familial relations with a prominent party member or powerful government official can be important for economic, social, or educational advancement. Party or government connections can pave the way for entrance into better elementary and secondary schools, access to lucrative employment, and greater power within the Government, the military, and the security services. Certain prominent positions, such as that of provincial governor, are reserved solely for Ba'th Party members.

A husband may request that his wife's travel abroad be prohibited (see Section 2.d.). Women generally are barred from travelling abroad with their children unless they are able to prove that the father has granted permission for the children to travel."

Honor killing in national legal codes (Wikipaedia, Jul 19, 2006): Syrian Penal Code Article 548 states that "He who catches his wife or one of his ascendants [sic], descendants or sister committing adultery (flagrante delicto) or illegitimate sexual acts with another and he killed or injured one or both of them benefits from an exemption of penalty."

Syria Report 2003 (Human Rights Watch)

The Price Of Dissent (Human Rights Watch)
This report published by Human Rights Watch focuses on Syria’s state security court and the continuing trials of individuals accused of membership in unauthorized political groups. It also examines the practice of torture in Syria, and the pressure and punishment placed on political prisoners after release. It documents the high price that some Syrians have paid—and continue to pay—for exercising their right to peaceful political dissent.

Palestine for the Syrians? (Daniel Pipes, Commentary, Dec 1986): During a meeting with leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1976, Syrian President Hafiz al-Asad referred to Palestine as a region of Syria, as Southern Syria. He then went on to tell the Palestinians: "You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Do not forget one thing: there is no Palestinian people, no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria! You are an integral part of the Syrian people and Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the real representatives of the Palestinian people."

Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, granted on Mar 27, 2003 an interview to the pro-Syrian daily Al-Safir (Lebanon) (as published by MEMRI): "The Arab Defense Agreement Should Be Implemented"; "As Long as Israel Exists It Will Constitute a Threat"; "Israel Will Not Be a Legitimate State Even After the Peace"

Syria and Weapons of Mass Destruction (Center for Strategic and International Studies) (PDF, 115 KB)

If You Harbor a Terrorist. Striking Syria to save Iraq (Barbara Lerner, NRO, Oct 27, 2003): "What will it take to win the second great battle of Iraq, the battle against terrorism on Iraqi soil? Thousands of additional Coalition troops and billions of dollars in donor aid will make it easier to hold the line, but I'm afraid it won't be enough, by itself, to ensure another Coalition triumph there in a year or two. We have to add a new element to the mix, and it's not another U.N. resolution. It's another "shock and awe" campaign, this one designed to convince Iraq's neighbors that when we say they must shut off the flow of foreign terrorists into Iraq, we mean it."

The Reform Party of Syria (RPS) is a U.S.-based opposition party that has emerged as a result of September 11. The party is governed by secular, peace committed Arab-Americans of Syrian descent who are determined to see that a "New Syria" is reborn that embraces real democratic and economic reforms.

Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, H. R. 1828, signed into law by U.S. President Bush on Dec 12, 2003: "To halt Syrian support for terrorism, end its occupation of Lebanon, and stop its development of weapons of mass destruction, and by so doing hold Syria accountable for the serious international security problems it has caused in the Middle East, and for other purposes."

United Arab Republic (Columbia Encyclopedia, February 6, 2010): Political union (1958-61) of Egypt and Syria. The capital was Cairo. As an initial step toward creating a pan-Arab union, the republic abolished Syrian and Egyptian citizenship, termed its inhabitants Arabs, and called the country “Arab territory.” It considered the Arab homeland to be the entire area between the Persian Gulf and the Atlantic coast. With Yemen (North Yemen), it formed (1958) a loose federation called the United Arab States. In 1961, Syria withdrew from the union after a military coup, and Yemen soon followed, thus ending the union. Egypt continued to use the name until 1971.

Syria related documents at Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)

Library of Congress's Country Studies (Syria)
CIA World Factbook (Syria): "Golan Heights is Israeli-occupied; dispute with upstream riparian Turkey over Turkish water development plans for the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; Syrian troops in northern, central, and eastern Lebanon since October 1976; Turkey is quick to rebuff any perceived Syrian claim to Hatay province ...

A transit point for opiates and hashish bound for regional and Western markets."

Raphael Katz Portfolio - Web Design, Film Making, Architecture, Photography