5 Surprising Cultural FACTUAL STATEMENTS ABOUT Syria

The medieval fortified palace in Aleppo is a UNESCO world heritage site, and the town itself is one of the oldest occupied cities on the planet continuously.

News reports recommend america will react to last week’s chemical weapons’ attacks in Syria with targeted military strikes.

But regardless of the looming U.S. involvement and the growing crisis in your community, most Americans know little about the united states or its history relatively. From its ancient cities to the present conflict, are five cultural factual statements about Syria here.

1. The Syrians

About 23 million people reside in Syria, and nearly all those people, about 74 percent, are Sunni Muslims. Another 12 percent of the populace comprises of Alawites, a sect of Shia Muslims. Despite being truly a minority, Alawites have dominated the federal government for decades; President Bashar al-Assad can be an Alawite. About ten percent of the populace is Christian, and another small percentage comprises of Druze, a mystical religious sect with components common to many monotheistic religions. [In Photos: Amazing Ruins of the Ancient World]

Whereas a lot of people in Syria speak Arabic, about 9 percent of the populace — mostly in the northeast — speak Kurdish.

2. Ancient history

Syria is a cradle of civilization for at least 10,000 years. It had been home to the ancient majestic city of Ebla, which flourished from 1800 B.C. to 1650 B.C. A vast trove of 20,000 cuneiform tablets unearthed in the town provided an unprecedented look at everyday life in Mesopotamia at the time. Since then, it’s been section of the major empires of history: At various times, the Egyptians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Persians, Macedonians and Romans ruled the spot.

3. Notable places

The largest cities in the united states — Aleppo, in the northwest, and Damascus, in the southwest — are ancient truly. Damascus was initially mentioned within an Egyptian document dating to 1500 B.C. Carbon dating from archaeological sites near Tell Ramad, outside of Damascus just, shows that site has been occupied dating back to 6300 B.C.

Aleppo could be among the oldest continually occupied cities in the world: There is proof human inhabitance of the region from about 6000 B.C., and since the city was along the Silk Road, it saw bustling trade for years and years. [Photos: Survival of a historical Civilization in Syria]

4. Modern history

For almost four centuries, Syria was portion of the Ottoman Empire. Along using what is Lebanon now, Syria came under French control following the Ottoman Empire collapsed in 1918, and became an unbiased country in 1946. As the certain area was once one territory, Syria has tried to exert influence over Lebanon traditionally, and from 1976 to 2005, Syrian troops occupied portions of Lebanon, to safeguard Lebanon from outside threats ostensibly. (Demonstrations in Lebanon successfully removed Syrian existence in the united states following the assassination of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.)

Hafez al-Assad, the existing president’s father, was in power from 1971 until his death in 2000. The elder Assad violently squelched dissent and killed thousands of individuals in a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in 1982. The existing president Assad assumed his position after his father’s death.

5. Current conflict

The civil war was set in place after President Bashar al-Assad violently suppressed pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011. Rebel groups started to arrange to oust Assad. However, those groups have already been made up of Islamist factions increasingly, making america cautious with assisting them.

In February 2012, several world leaders condemned the massacre by government forces of 300 people in the populous city of Homs. The US estimates that about 100,000 folks have been far killed in fighting so, with millions displaced by the conflict.

In August of this past year, President Barack Obama said, «a red line for all of us is we start to see a lot of chemical weapons active or being utilized. That could change my calculus. That could change my equation.»

After several reports of small-scale usage of chemical weapons, on Aug. 21, opposition forces say that the federal government had used chemical weapons within an attack that killed a lot more than 300 people and affected a large number of others in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. On Aug. 26, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said there is strong evidence that the federal government had indeed used chemical weapons.

Follow Tia Ghose on Twitterand Google+. Follow LiveScience @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Initial article on LiveScience.

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5 Surprising Cultural FACTUAL STATEMENTS ABOUT Syria