Syria's Muslims are 74 percent Sunnis (including Sufis), and 13 percent Shias (including 8–12 percent Alawites from which about 2 percent are Mershdis), 3 percent are Druze, while the remaining 10 percent are Christians. He is affiliated with the sect that his parents belong to: the minority Alawite sect.
The majority of Syria's Christians belong to the Eastern Christian churches, such as the branches of the Eastern Catholic Churches, Syriac Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, Assyrian Church of the East, and Armenian Orthodox Church, which have existed in the region since the first century AD.
Syrian opposition groups formed the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and seized control of the area surrounding Aleppo and parts of southern Syria.
Over time, some factions of the Syrian opposition split from their original moderate position to pursue an Islamist vision for Syria, joining groups such as al-Nusra Front and ISIL.
Map of the Levant (Natural or greater Syria) in Arabic.
Remade map from an original found in the book: Flora of Syria Palestine and Sinai: a handbook of the flowering plants and ferns native and naturalized from the Taurus to Ras Muhammad and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Syrian desert.)You must also include a United States public domain tag to indicate why this work is in the public domain in the United States.
Socioeconomic inequality increased significantly after free market policies were initiated by Hafez al-Assad in his later years, and it accelerated after Bashar al-Assad came to power.
With an emphasis on the service sector, these policies benefited a minority of the nation's population, mostly people who had connections with the government, and members of the Sunni merchant class of Damascus and Aleppo.
From August 2016 to March 2017, Turkey fought alongside a rebel contingent in Aleppo governorate against the SDF and ISIL but not against the Syrian government. HTS's predecessor (the Al-Nusra Front) and ISIL's predecessor (ISI) were allied al-Qaeda branches until April 2013.The unrest in Syria, part of a wider wave of 2011 Arab Spring protests, grew out of discontent with the Assad government and escalated to an armed conflict after protests calling for his removal were violently suppressed.The war is being fought by several factions: the Syrian government and its allies, a loose alliance of Sunni Arab rebel groups (including the Free Syrian Army), the majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Salafi jihadist groups (including al-Nusra Front) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), with a number of countries in the region and beyond being either directly involved, or rendering support to one or another faction.The government survived a series of armed revolts by Islamists, mainly members of the Muslim Brotherhood, from 1976 until 1982.Upon Hafez al-Assad's death in 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad was elected as President of Syria.Since 1970, the secular Syrian Regional Branch has remained the dominant political authority in what had been a one-party state until the first multi-party election to the People's Council of Syria was held in 2012.On 31 January 1973, Hafez al-Assad implemented a new constitution, which led to a national crisis.In 2015, the People's Protection Units (YPG) joined forces with Arab, Assyrian and some Turkmen groups, to form the Syrian Democratic Forces, while most Turkmen groups remained with the FSA. Over the course of the war a number of peace initiatives have been launched, including the March 2017 Geneva peace talks on Syria led by the United Nations, but fighting continues.A popular uprising against military rule in 1954 saw the army transfer power to civilians.From 1958 to 1961, a brief union with Egypt replaced Syria's parliamentary system with a centralized presidential government.In March 1971, Hafez al-Assad, an Alawite, declared himself President, a position that he held until his death in 2000.