The colonels took over in 1949 with the failure of a civilian government made up mostly of Sunni landowners. Husni as-Zaim to power, but he was, in turn, soon toppled.
Ethnically, the country is comprised of an Arab majority with a large number of Kurds as a second ethnic group.
Other groups include Armenians, Turkmen, and Assyrians.
Syria was the name of an ancient territory, a strip of fertile land that lay between the eastern Mediterranean coast and the desert of Northern Arabia.
Indeed, ancient Syria, Greater Syria, or "Suriya," as it was sometimes called, was for most of history synonymous with the Arabian peninsula, encompassing the modern nations of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan.
Arabic is the primary language, but some ethnic groups maintain their languages, especially outside of the urban areas of Aleppo and Damascus, and Kurdish, Armenian, and Turkish are all spoken in various areas.
Only about half of the land can support the population, and half of the population resides in cities.Modern Syria is an Arab republic of southwest Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east and southeast, Jordan to the south, and by Israel and Lebanon to the southwest.A small strip of Syria also lies along the Mediterranean Sea.This dynasty disintegrated, and Syria fell under the control of an Egyptian line based in Cairo.The culture flourished in the tenth and eleventh centuries, though the Crusaders made European incursions to recapture the Holy Land.From ancient times, the area that came to be known as Syria had a succession of rulers, including Mesopotamians, Hittites, Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks.