Facts About Syria

(CNN) -- Syria is a Middle Eastern country sharing a border with Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. The Syrian uprising began in March 2011. As of June 2013, more than 90,000 Syrians have been killed, according to the United Nations. About Syria: (from the CIA World Factbook) Land Area: 185,180 sq km, slightly larger than North Dakota Population: 22,457,336 (2013 est.) Median age: 22.7 years old (2013 est.) Capital: Damascus (2.5 million) Ethnic Groups: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7% Religion: Sunni Muslim 74%, other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) 16% Christian (various denominations) 10% GDP: $107.6 billion (2011 est.- most current, as of 5/13) GDP per capita: $5,100 (2011 est.- most current, as of 5/13) Unemployment: 18% (2012 est. - most current, as of 5/13)

Timeline: 1517-1918 - Part of the Ottoman Empire.

1920 - The League of Nations puts Syria under French control.

April 17, 1946 - Independence is declared after French troops leave the country.

1949-1958 - A series of coups leads to instability in the country.

February 1, 1958 - Syria and Egypt merge, creating the United Arab Republic.

September 28, 1961 - Syria secedes from the United Arab Republic.

1967 - Syria loses the Golan Heights to Israel during the Six Day War.

November 13, 1970 - Minister of Defense Hafez al-Assad stages a bloodless coup.

1976-2005 - Approximately 17,000 Syrian troops are stationed in neighboring Lebanon.

1979-present - Syria is placed on the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism.

June 10, 2000 - Hafez al Assad dies.

July 10, 2000 - Bashar al-Assad is elected president by referendum, winning 97% of the vote. He is re-elected in 2007.

March 2011 - Violence flares in Daraa after a group of teens and children are arrested for writing political graffiti. Dozens of people are killed when security forces crack down on demonstrations.