|Geography and Climate
Syria is location in the Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey. Area - comparative: slightly larger than North Dakota. Total land boundary is 2,253 km
border countries are Iraq 605 km, Israel 76 km, Jordan 375 km, Lebanon 375 km, Turkey 822 km.
Climate is hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along coast; cold weather with snow or sleet periodically hitting Damascus; mostly desert. Terrain consists primarily of semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west. Elevation extreme has the lowest point in unnamed location near Lake Tiberias -200 m and highest point in Mount Hermon 2,814 m. Natural resources are petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum. Land use: arable land: 28%, permanent crops: 4%, permanent pastures: 43%, forests and woodland: 3%, other: 22% (1993 est.). Irrigated land: 9,060 sq km (1993 est.). Natural hazards are dust storms, sandstorms.
Environment—current issues: deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution from dumping of raw sewage and wastes from petroleum refining; inadequate supplies of potable water.
Geography—note: there are 42 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (August 1997 est.).
Ref. Anonymous, 1999