SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC CEREN ERGÜNHACETTEPE UNIVERSITYINTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
General Informations • Formal Name: Syrian Arab Republic (Al Jumhuriyah al Arabiyah as Suriyah). • Term for Citizen(s):Syrian(s). • Capital: Damascus • Languages: Arabic is the official language and mother tongue of about 90 percent of the population. Minority languages include Kurdish, Armenian,Turkish.
Population • Ethnically,some of 90% of the population is Arab. • %10 belongs to Kurdish Armenian and Turkmens.
Economy • Syria is middle- income country. • Economy based on agriculture,oil industry and tourism. • Syria has some economical problems • A large and poorly performing public sector • Declining rates of oil production • Widening non-oil deficit • Weak financial and capital markets • High unemployement and poulation growth rates • Syria withdrew from GATT in 1951 because of Israel’s accession • Syria is not member of WTO,however is developing regional free trade agreements (GAFTA)-Greater Arab Free Trade Area • Syria signed free trade agreement with Turkey in 2007.
A Taste Of Freedom • Syria fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1516 and remained a part of their Ottoman Empire for four centuries. • In 1916, the Arabs took the opportunity of World War I to revolt against the Turkish rule. • ThealliancespromisedthesovereignArabstatesandsupportedseperatistactionsagainsttheOttomanEmpire.
T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer ledtheArabs in many of importantbattles. He broughttotheArabs in theirfightagainstTheTurkswas British moneyandarms. His tactics of guerrilawarfarethatenabledtheArabstoconfusetheTurkish-Germanforces
In 1916, SharifHussein ibn Ali of Mecca to begin a revolt. He gave the leadership of this revolt to two of his sons: Faisal and Abdullahwith Lawrence supports. • In 1918,English attacksandArabrevoltsinto the Palestinedid not beenstoppedbyOttomanforcesandEnglishsoccupied at theDamascus. • Aftertheoccupation, Syria was declared an independent kingdom under King Faisal I, son of Sharif Hussein.
King Faisal I attended the Versailles Peace Conferance to benefit from the right of self- determination. The greatest powers did not accept the self determination rights of Syria. Faisal declared the independent and the soverign Syria. The brief period of Syrian self-government,when Faisal was king,had given nationalist in the country a taste of freedom since French mandate.
French Mandate • In 1920, French troops landed on the Syrian coast, threatening to occupy the country. • The Syrians decided to resist. However,at the town of Maysaloon, the ill-equipped Syrian army was defeated. • Defense Minister Youssef al Azmeh was killed in the battle, which marked the beginning of 26 Years of French mandate over Syria.
French Mandate • France ruledSyriawithironhand. • Everyfeature of Syrian life cameunder French control. • France becamethecurrency of theeconomyandthecurrency of themanagementwas in thehands of French bankers. • ThesefactorscausedtheArabnationalistmovement in Syriawhichledbyeducated,wealthyMuslimsagainistthe French.
France set out to weaken the nationalist movement by diving the country into seperate regions and giving support to religious minorities.
Liberation Movements • NationalistsfoundedthePeople Party, whichdemanded French recognition of eventualSyrianindependence. • Violancebrokeout in seperateuprisingbyAlawis(Alevi),Druzes(Dürzi),Bedouins(Bedevi) toarriveliberation. • Theirrevoltsagainst French quickly spread throughoutthecountry. • French endedtheserevoltsbysistematicbombardment of Damascus,killingabout 5,000 Syrians.
Liberation Movements • In 1928,The French allowed the formation of the National Blok to write a constitution. • However,the French put into effect this constitution after deleting all references to independence. • Syrian nationalist wanted a treaty with France. • Under Leon Blum’s liberal socialist government negotiated the Syrian-French Treaty of Alliance. • With French approval,the first Syrian nationalist govenment came to power 1936,with Hashim al Atassi at Nationalist Blok.
Liberation Movements • In 1939,France agreed to hand over to Turkey the Province of Alexandra,later Hatay. • Many Syrians blammed the Attasi govenment for the loss,and Attasi resigned. • Parlementary institutions were abolished,France again governed the unruly country through a Council Of Directors. • Hitler’s Germany was to change everthing.The Germans quickly conquered France in 1940 at the World War II and set up the Vichy government.
Liberation Movements • Free French under De Gaulle government promised eventual independence for Syria.However,French mandate in effect even under the Free French. • With National Blok,Syrian elected a new parliament in 1943 and began taking over govenmental functions. • The French retained control of social,cultural and educational services,as well as peace-keeping force(Levants) • But 1944 the Soviet Union and after the United States recognized as sovereign state.These nations began pressuring France.
LİBERATION Syria became member of the United Nations and the Arab League. In the picture, Arab leaders confer in Bloudan(1945) 17 April 1946 the last French troop leaves Syria. The day will be celebrated as the National Day.
1948 ARAB-ISRAIL CONFLİCT • In 1948, the Syrian army was sent to Palestine to fight along with other Arab armies against the newly created State of Israel. • The Arabs lost the war, and Israel occupied 78 percent of the area of historical Palestine. • In July 1949, Syria was the last Arab country to sign an armistice agreement with Israel. • It was only the beginning of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Military Coups Period Shukri al-Quwwatli Husni Zaim Sami Hinnawi Adib Shishakli
The Ba’ath Party "Unity, Liberty, Socialism" • The national government faced instability, this time coming from abroad. • In the mid 1950s, Syria's relation with the West witnessed some tension with the improving Syrian-Soviet relations. • The Ba'ath, now a large and popular organisation, gained representation in the parliamentary elections in 1954. • Ba‘ath was a secularist political party with strong socialist and Arab nationalist interests, opposed to what it sees as "Western imperialism«. • Ba‘athcalled for the "renaissance" or "resurrection" of the Arab World and its unity in one united state. • The Ba’ath Party drafted a bill in 1958 calling for union with Egypt.
The Arabs Unite 1 February 1958: Egyptian President Gamal Abdel-Nasser and Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatli sign the union treaty. Syria and Egypt become united under the United Arab Republic (UAR).
The Arabs Unite • The western threat was also one of the reasons that helped achieve Syria's union with Egypt under the United Arab Republic (UAR). • In February 1958, Egyptian Gamal Abdel Nasser was president. • Nasser's condition to accept union with Syria was dissolving all Syrian political parties. • Syria realized it had become a virtual colony of Egypt and many wanted out of the UAR. • On September 28, 1961, with a bloodless military coup in Damascus,Syria went back to independence.
Salah Jadid Rule • In 8 March 1963, the Baath Arab Socialist Party came to power in a coup known in Syria as the March Revolution. • In February 1966, the right wing of Baath assumed leadership of the party, establishing radical Salah Jadid as the strongman of the country. • Under Jadid's rule, Syria aligned itself with the Soviet bloc.
The Six-Day War 1967 Arab-Israeli Warwasfoughtbetween June 5 and June 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt Jordan, and Syria.
After the Six-Day War on Syria • Thedramaticdefeat in Six-DayWardiscreditedtheradicalsocialistregimesBa’athistSyria. • Thedefeatstrengthedthehands of themoderatesandrightists in theBa’athPartyandDefenseMinisterHafez al Assad’spower. • Thefirstmeeting of ArabstatesafterSix-DayWarproducedethefamous«threeno’s» at 1967 • No peacewithIsrael • No recognition of Israel • No negotiationswithIsraelconcerninganyPalestinianterritory
Resolution 242 • Unite Nations claimeditself in theMiddle East with Security CouncilResolution 242. AccordingtoResolution 242: • ItcalledforIsraeltowithdrawitsarmedforces «fromterritoriesoccupied in recentconflict» • Itcalled on theArabstoendtheirbelligerenceandrecognizeIsrael’srighttolivepeacefulluywithinsecureandrecognizeboundaries.
Black SeptemberConflict of Jordan and Palestine Liberation Organization • Syria was highly critical of Jordan and Lebanon for their efforts to control Palestinian guerrillas in their territories. • When Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to press the militancy of Palestinian organizations in Jordan and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. • Syria tried to intervene on behalf of the Palestinian guerrillas. • Syria sent tanks to aid the PLO forces. • Syrian tanks came under heavy fire by Jordanian troops and war planes and forced to withdraw.
Correction Movement • Thefailure of theSyrianinterventioncausedthedomesticpoliticaldisagreementswithinBa’athleadership. • TheJadidfactionwantedthefullsupport of the PLO in Jordan • HowevertheAssadfactionopposedsuchaction. • Assadrefusedto sent his airforcetosupporttanks in Jordon,because he feared a destroyer Israelattack. • At 1970,Jadid wasout. • Thenewnationalgovernmentwasto be organizedundernewBa’atistleadership,AssadLeadership.
Correction Movement • Assad claimed the change in government was not a coup,called it a « correction movement»
The Yom Kippur War • Yom Kippur is the holiest day in Jewish calendar. • The Arab nations thought there would be no better time to attack Israel. • On October, 6th 1973, Syria and Egypt launched a surprising attack against the Israeli forces in the occupied Sinai and Golan Heights. • Within few days, Syrian troops had almost liberated all the land occupied in 1967, but Israeli forces managed to recover after a massive US airlift. • Syria soon found itself fighting US and Israel together.This alarmed the Soviets and they bagan a massive airlift of Cairo and Damascus. • The fighting on the Egyptian front ceased, the Syrians were forced to accepted the UN call for a cease-fire. • The UN Security Council issued another resolution, 338, calling for Israeli withdrawal from Arab territories and for peace talks to achieve a just peace in the Middle East.
The Yom Kippur War The UN Security Council issued another resolution338, calling for Israeli withdrawal from Arab territories and for peace talks to achieve a just peace in the Middle East.
After The Yom Kippur War • The US secretary of state Henry Kissinger succeeded in reaching an agreement to disengage Syrian and Israeli troops in the Golan. • According to the agreement, Syria regained control over a strip of territory in the Golan including the major city of Quneitra. • President Assad raised the Syrian flag over the liberated land on June 26, 1974, but the Syrians were surprised to find that Quneitra and many other towns and villages in the Golan were deliberately destroyed by the Israelis. • The city was never rebuilt. UN troops were deployed in the liberated area to prevent any violations of the cease-fire.
Lebanon Conflicts • In 1975,civil war broke out inLebanon between Christians and Muslims,with participation by Palestine Liberation Organization. • Both Israel and Syria intervened. • Syrian president Hafez Assed knew that a takeover of Lebanon by Muslim forces and The PLO would invite Israeli attempt to occupy the country. • The troops in Lebanon stood against the invading Israeli army in 1982, and full-scale land and air battles took place between the two sides. • Over the following 15 years of civil war, Syria fought both for control over Lebanon, and as an attempt to undermine Israel in southern Lebanon, through extensive use of Lebanese allies as proxy fighters. • Syrian troops remained in Lebanon to maintain security and stability until 2005.
Arab-Israeli Peace Talks Foreign Minister Farouk Al-Shara'a headed the Syrian delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference in November 1991. The conference marked the launch of bilateral Arab-Israeli peace talks.
Arab-Israeli Peace Talks • After the Gulf War, Syria accepted the US invitation for an international peace conference on the Middle East. • The conferencebased on the UN resolutions calling for Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967, and on the so-called 'land for peace' principle. • Syrian-Israeli peace talks reached a dead end in 1996 with Israel refusing to discuss the complete withdrawal from the Golan Heights. • But in late 1999, Israel signaled its will to accept such move, and the talks were resumed in the US, this time at a high level between Foreign Minister Farouq al-Sahara'a and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. • The talks were again stalled in early 2000 when Barak tried to exclude the northeastern shore of the Lake Tiberias from the proposed Israeli withdrawal plan. • Syria made it clear that no single inch of the Syrian soil will be given away.
On June 10, 2000, President Assad died. He was succeeded by his son, Bashar Al-Assad.
Bashar Al-Assad’s Period • The United States, European Union, and France accuse Assad of logistically supporting militant groups aimed at Israel and any opposing member to his government. • These include most political parties other than Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. • Assad opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, despite a long-standing hostility between the Syrian and Iraqi governments, a decision that reflected the will of the majority of his people in his country. • Assad used Syria's seat in one of rotating positions on the United Nations Security Council to try to prevent the invasion of Iraq. • Following the Iraq invasion by coalition forces, Assad was accused of supporting the Iraqi insurgency.
Bashar Al-Assad’s Period • A US general accused him of providing funding, logistics, and training to Iraqi and foreign Muslims to launch attacks against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. • The death of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the Syrian involvement, and support for anti-Israeli groups, caused a crisis in relations with the United States. • Assad was criticized for Syria's existence in Lebanon (which ended in 2005), and the US put Syria under sanctions partly because of this. • On September 6, 2007 Israel bombed a target in the Deir ez-Zor region. declared that indicated the site was a nuclear facility with a military purpose, though Syria denied this. • In 2008 United States Special Operations Forces carried out a raid to the Syrian territory from Iraq. • The Syrian government called the event a "criminal and terrorist" attack on its sovereignty.
Syria-Turkey Relations • Syria's relations with Turkey suffer from three problem sources: • One is the support given by Syria to PKK terrorism, for which there isundeniable evidence. • The second is Syria's dissatisfaction with the amountof water Turkey has accepted to release for its dams on the EuphratesRiver. • The third is the irredentist desires of the Syrian ruling class onthe Turkish province of Hatay.
Turkey’s Zero Problem Policy with Neighbours Turkey tries to achieve a remarkable progress in pursuing the zero problem policy with neighbors such as Iran and Syria in 2009 as part of attempts to revive its regional influence.