1970-1990






Syria, since 1990



Politics Hafez al Assad, president since 1971, had himself reelected repeatedly, until his death in 2000. Then he was succeeded by his son Basher al Assad. The Baath party is the only legal party in Syria. The state of emergency, in place since 1963, allows the authoritarian regime bypassing the democratic process.

Domestic Policies Baath ideology, while accepting Islamic tradition, aims at the establishment of a secular socialist state. The Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Syria in 1982, it was only legalized again in 2001.

Foreign Policy . In 1976 Syria, with a mandate by the Arab League, intervened in the Lebanon Civil War, only to withdraw her forces in 2006.
In 1991 Syria joined the International Coalition which liberated Kuwait. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the Coalition of the Willing (which Syria objected to), Syria was accused of supporting the insurgents in Iraq by permitting foreign terrorists to cross from Syria into Iraq. Syria played a prominent role in Lebanese domestic policy since 1976. The Lebanese Civil War ended in 1990, and Lebanon went through a period of recovery and democratization. The assassination of Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri in 2005 was blamed on Syrian agents and caused increased pressure on Syria to withdraw her troops; she complied in 2005-2006.

The Economy is still largerly controlled by the states. Only recently, private banks have been permitted (2001) and opened (2004); the Damascus Stock Exdchange is scheduled to open in 2007. Over the last decades, the Syrian Pound has been rather stable. Unlike her neighbour to the East, Syria is not a major oil producer.
The census of 1970 established a population of 6,304,700. The population of 2000 was estimated at 16,305,700.





EXTERNAL
FILES
Timeline, from BBC News
Article Economy of Syria, from Wikipedia
Article Politics of Syria, from Wikipedia
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Syria
Encyclopedia of the Orient : Syria; Syrian Encyclopedia, from Damascus Online

Political Resources on the Net : Syria
CASCON Case MEW : Middle East War 1973, by L.P. Bloomfield, L. Moulton
DOCUMENTS Historical Population Statistics : Syria, from Population Statistics at Univ. Utrecht
Information by Country : Syria, from U.S. Committee for Refugees, 5 reports 1999-2000
Estimates of Death Toll due to political suppression, 1971-2000, posted by Matthew White, scroll down for Syria
REFERENCE Daniel Pipes, Greater Syria. The History of an Ambition, Oxford : UP 1990, KMLA Lib.Sign. 956 P665g
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Macropaedia, Vol.28, pp.361-374 Article Syria. KMLA Lib.Sign. R 032 B862h v.28
David Commins, Historical Dictionary of Syria, Lanham Md : Scarecrow 1996, 299 pp. [G]
Article : Syria, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1991 pp.416, 709, 1992 pp.390, 709, 1993 pp.392, 724, 1994 pp.391, 724, 1995 pp.479, 724, 1996 pp.475-476, 724, 1997 pp.478, 722, 2002 pp.498-499, 736 [G]
Article : Syria, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1991-1992 pp.1178-1182, 1992-1993 pp.1260-1264, 1993-1994 pp.1264-1268, 1994-1995 pp.1263-1267, 1995-1996 pp.1250-1254, 1996-1997 pp.1227-1231, 1997-1998 pp.1226-1230, 1998-1999 pp.1339-1343, 2000 pp.1503-1508, 2001 pp.1472-1476, 2002 pp.1526-1531, 2003 pp.1525-1530, 2004 pp.1544-1549, 2005 pp.1554-1559, 2006 pp.1563-1568 [G]
Article : Syria, in : Americana Annual 1992 pp.509-510, 1993 p.520, 1994 p.521, 1998 pp.526-527, 2006 p.363 [G]
Entry : Syrian Arab Rep., pp.960-963 in : IMF, International Financial Statistics Yearbook 2001 [G]
Entry : Syria (Syrian Arab Republic), Cabinet, pp.95-96; in : Countries of the World and their Leaders Yearbook, 2003 [G]


This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on October 28th 2006, last revised on June 20th 2007

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