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Igor Konashenkov said Tuesday the military was From our partner: The Conversation. Airstrikes kill 9 in rebel-held northwest Syria November 17, Car bomb kills at least 18 in Syrian town held by Turkey November 16, Germany arrests woman, accused of joining IS, on return home November 16, Major shakeup foreseen in China football after loss November 15, Press Releases.
The Latest: 8 die as Israeli planes hit Gaza November 12, In , the Egypt-based Tulunids annexed Syria from the Abbasids, and were later replaced by once the Egypt-based Ikhshidids and still later by the Hamdanids originating in Aleppo founded by Sayf al-Dawla. Sections of Syria were held by French, English, Italian and German overlords between and AD during the Crusades and were known collectively as the Crusader states among which the primary one in Syria was the Principality of Antioch. The coastal mountainous region was also occupied in part by the Nizari Ismailis , the so-called Assassins , who had intermittent confrontations and truces with the Crusader States.
Later in history when "the Nizaris faced renewed Frankish hostilities, they received timely assistance from the Ayyubids. After a century of Seljuk rule, Syria was largely conquered — by the Kurdish warlord Saladin , founder of the Ayyubid dynasty of Egypt. Aleppo fell to the Mongols of Hulegu in January , and Damascus in March, but then Hulegu was forced to break off his attack to return to China to deal with a succession dispute.
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The Mamluk leader, Baibars , made Damascus a provincial capital. When he died, power was taken by Qalawun. In the meantime, an emir named Sunqur al-Ashqar had tried to declare himself ruler of Damascus, but he was defeated by Qalawun on 21 June , and fled to northern Syria. Al-Ashqar, who had married a Mongol woman, appealed for help from the Mongols. The Mongols of the Ilkhanate took the city, but Qalawun persuaded Al-Ashqar to join him, and they fought against the Mongols on 29 October , in the Second Battle of Homs , which was won by the Mamluks. The city's inhabitants were massacred, except for the artisans, who were deported to Samarkand.
Timur-Lenk also conducted specific massacres of the Aramean and Assyrian Christian populations, greatly reducing their numbers. In , the Ottoman Empire invaded the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt , conquering Syria, and incorporating it into its empire. The Ottoman system was not burdensome to Syrians because the Turks respected Arabic as the language of the Quran , and accepted the mantle of defenders of the faith. Damascus was made the major entrepot for Mecca , and as such it acquired a holy character to Muslims, because of the beneficial results of the countless pilgrims who passed through on the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Ottoman administration followed a system that led to peaceful coexistence. His short-term rule over the domain attempted to change the demographics and social structure of the region: he brought thousands of Egyptian villagers to populate the plains of Southern Syria , rebuilt Jaffa and settled it with veteran Egyptian soldiers aiming to turn it into a regional capital, and he crushed peasant and Druze rebellions and deported non-loyal tribesmen.
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By , however, he had to surrender the area back to the Ottomans. From , Tanzimat reforms were applied on Ottoman Syria, carving out the provinces vilayets of Aleppo , Zor , Beirut and Damascus Vilayet ; Mutasarrifate of Mount Lebanon was created, as well, and soon after the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem was given a separate status. During the conflict, genocide against indigenous Christian peoples was carried out by the Ottomans and their allies in the form of the Armenian Genocide and Assyrian Genocide , of which Deir ez-Zor , in Ottoman Syria, was the final destination of these death marches.
Initially, the two territories were separated by a border that ran in an almost straight line from Jordan to Iran. However, the discovery of oil in the region of Mosul just before the end of the war led to yet another negotiation with France in to cede this region to the British zone of influence, which was to become Iraq.
The fate of the intermediate province of Zor was left unclear; its occupation by Arab nationalists resulted in its attachment to Syria. This border was recognized internationally when Syria became a League of Nations mandate in  and has not changed to date. In , a short-lived independent Kingdom of Syria was established under Faisal I of the Hashemite family. However, his rule over Syria ended after only a few months, following the Battle of Maysalun. French troops occupied Syria later that year after the San Remo conference proposed that the League of Nations put Syria under a French mandate.
General Gouraud had according to his secretary de Caix two options: "Either build a Syrian nation that does not exist De Caix added "I must say only the second option interests me". This is what Gouraud did. In , Sultan al-Atrash led a revolt that broke out in the Druze Mountain and spread to engulf the whole of Syria and parts of Lebanon.
France sent thousands of troops from Morocco and Senegal, leading the French to regain many cities, although resistance lasted until the spring of The French sentenced Sultan al-Atrash to death, but he had escaped with the rebels to Transjordan and was eventually pardoned. He returned to Syria in after the signing of the Syrian-French Treaty.
Syria and France negotiated a treaty of independence in September , and Hashim al-Atassi was the first president to be elected under the first incarnation of the modern republic of Syria.
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However, the treaty never came into force because the French Legislature refused to ratify it. Continuing pressure from Syrian nationalists and the British forced the French to evacuate their troops in April , leaving the country in the hands of a republican government that had been formed during the mandate.
Upheaval dominated Syrian politics from independence through the late s. In May , Syrian forces invaded Palestine , together with other Arab states, and immediately attacked Jewish settlements.
Husni al-Za'im , described as the first military overthrow of the Arab World  since the start of the Second World War. This was soon followed by another overthrow, by Col. Sami al-Hinnawi , who was himself quickly deposed by Col. Adib Shishakli , all within the same year. Shishakli eventually abolished multipartyism altogether, but was himself overthrown in a coup and the parliamentary system was restored.
There was fertile ground for various Arab nationalist , Syrian nationalist , and socialist movements, which represented disaffected elements of society. Notably included were religious minorities, who demanded radical reform.
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This gave a foothold for Communist influence within the government in exchange for military equipment. Only heated debates in the United Nations lessened the threat of war. On 1 February , Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatli and Egypt's Nasser announced the merging of Egypt and Syria, creating the United Arab Republic , and all Syrian political parties, as well as the communists therein, ceased overt activities. Syria seceded from the union with Egypt on 28 September , after a coup. The ensuing instability following the coup culminated in the 8 March Ba'athist coup. The new Syrian cabinet was dominated by Ba'ath members.
On 23 February , the Military Committee carried out an intra-party overthrow , imprisoned President Amin Hafiz and designated a regionalist, civilian Ba'ath government on 1 March. In the first half of , a low-key state of war existed between Syria and Israel.
Conflict over Israeli cultivation of land in the Demilitarized Zone led to 7 April pre-war aerial clashes between Israel and Syria. In the final days of the war, Israel turned its attention to Syria, capturing two-thirds of the Golan Heights in under 48 hours.
Disagreement developed between Jadid, who controlled the party apparatus, and Assad, who controlled the military. The retreat of Syrian forces sent to aid the PLO during the " Black September " hostilities with Jordan reflected this disagreement. In early , Syria entered Lebanon, beginning the thirty-year Syrian military occupation. Over the following 15 years of civil war , Syria fought for control over Lebanon.
Syria then remained in Lebanon until In the late s, an Islamist uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood was aimed against the government. Islamists attacked civilians and off-duty military personnel, leading security forces to also kill civilians in retaliatory strikes. The uprising had reached its climax in the Hama massacre ,  when some 10, — 40, people were killed by regular Syrian Army troops. Syria participated in the multilateral Madrid Conference of , and during the s engaged in negotiations with Israel. These negotiations failed, and there have been no further direct Syrian-Israeli talks since President Hafez al-Assad 's meeting with then President Bill Clinton in Geneva in March Hafez al-Assad died on 10 June His son, Bashar al-Assad , was elected President in an election in which he ran unopposed.
On 5 October , Israel bombed a site near Damascus , claiming it was a terrorist training facility for members of Islamic Jihad. Signs of rioting were seen in the cities of Qamishli and Hasakeh. It began in as a chain of peaceful protests, followed by an alleged crackdown by the Syrian Army.
The opposition is dominated by Sunni Muslims, whereas the leading government figures are generally associated with Alawites. Similarly, Syria's net migration reached a historical high of -5 million migrants in as a consequence of the increasing number of refugees that fled the country since the beginning of the civil war.
The climate varies from the humid Mediterranean coast, through a semiarid steppe zone, to arid desert in the east. The country consists mostly of arid plateau, although the northwest part bordering the Mediterranean is fairly green. Al-Jazira in the northeast and Hawran in the south are important agricultural areas. The Euphrates , Syria's most important river, crosses the country in the east. Syria is one of the fifteen states that comprise the so-called " cradle of civilization ".
Petroleum in commercial quantities was first discovered in the northeast in The fields are a natural extension of the Iraqi fields of Mosul and Kirkuk. Petroleum became Syria's leading natural resource and chief export after Natural gas was discovered at the field of Jbessa in Syria is formally a unitary republic. The current constitution of Syria , adopted in , effectively transformed the country into a semi-presidential republic due to the constitutional right for the election of individuals who do not form part of the National Progressive Front.
The executive branch consists of the president, two vice presidents , the prime minister, and the Council of Ministers cabinet. The constitution requires the president to be a Muslim  but does not make Islam the state religion. On 31 January , Hafez al-Assad implemented a new constitution, which led to a national crisis.
Unlike previous constitutions, this one did not require that the President of Syria be a Muslim , leading to fierce demonstrations in Hama , Homs and Aleppo organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and the ulama. They labelled Assad the "enemy of Allah " and called for a jihad against his rule.
The constitution gives the president the right to appoint ministers, to declare war and state of emergency , to issue laws which, except in the case of emergency, require ratification by the People's Council , to declare amnesty , to amend the constitution, and to appoint civil servants and military personnel. Syria's legislative branch is the unicameral People's Council. Under the previous constitution, Syria did not hold multi-party elections for the legislature,  with two-thirds of the seats automatically allocated to the ruling coalition.
Seven new political parties took part in the elections, of which Popular Front for Change and Liberation was the largest opposition party. The armed anti-government rebels, however, chose not to field candidates and called on their supporters to boycott the elections. Outside of the coalition are 14 illegal Kurdish political parties.