Territory in southwest Asia, nominally ruled since 1961 by the al-Jumhūriyyah al-‘Arabīyah as-Sūriyyah

Syria (Arabic: سوريا‎ Sūriyā), officially known as the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic: الجمهورية العربية السورية‎ al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), 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. Syria's capital and largest city is Damascus. A country of fertile plains, high mountains and deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians, Mandeans and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Isma'ilis, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, Yazidis and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria.

Measures of Freedom

Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2016
2014: 4.72, Rank: 156, Personal Freedom: 3.85, Economic Freedom: 5.59, Democracy Index: 2.17
Level of Economic Freedom, Economic Freedom of the World
2014: 5.59, Rank: 146
Syria | Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2016
2016: Status: Not Free, Aggregate Score: -1, Political Rights: 7, Civil Liberties: 7
"The civil war that started in the wake of a peaceful 2011 uprising continued unabated in 2015. By December it had displaced some 6.6 million people within Syria and created roughly 4.3 million Syrian refugees; most of those who remained in the country were in need of humanitarian assistance. The United Nations stopped providing casualty figures in January 2014, but the independent Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported a total of 330,000 dead as of August 2015."

Articles

It Came From Washington: A Criminally Insane Government, by Paul Craig Roberts, 1 Jul 2012
Examines U.S. government adversarial actions towards Russia and China
"The Syrian 'rebels' are well armed with military weapons. The 'rebels' are battling the Syrian army. The rebels massacre civilians and report to their media whores in the West that the deed was done by the Syrian government, and the Western presstitutes spread the propaganda. Someone is arming the 'rebels' as obviously the weapons can't be purchased in local Syrian markets. Most intelligent people believe the weapons are coming from the US or from US surrogates."
U.S. Has No Moral Standing to Condemn Assad, by Sheldon Richman, 28 Aug 2013
Questions the propriety of the U.S. government's moral pronouncements (and potential military actions) in response to allegations that Syria's government used chemical weapons
"Whether or not Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons, President Obama has no legitimate grounds to intervene. ... Obama's previous intervention is what has brought us to this point. Instead of steering clear of this regional conflict, he declared that Assad must go; ... and armed and otherwise aided Assad's opposition, which is dominated by al-Qaeda-style jihadists who have no good feelings toward America."
Related Topic: War

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Syria" as of 01 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.