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Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. The name Syria formerly comprised the entire region of the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the site of several ancient kingdoms and empires, Its capital city, Damascus, is widely regarded as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Modern Syria was created as a French mandate and attained independence in April 1946, as a parliamentary republic.


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