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Syrian Desert

Nature creation - Earth Desert ::-- 1.Antarctic - Desert|| 2.Sahara - Desert|| 3.Arctic - Desert|| 4.Arabian - Desert|| 5.Gobi - Desert|| 6.Kalahari - Desert|| 7.Patagonian - Desert|| 8.Victoria - Desert|| 9.Syrian - Desert|| 10.Great Basin - Desert|| Desert List||

Syrian Desert

The Syrian Desert also known as the Syro-Arabian desert is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in the northern Arabian Peninsula covering 200,000 square miles.


The Syrian desert is part of the Al-Hamad, which covers portions of Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Its border on the west is the Orontes Valley, and its border on the east is the Euphrates. In the north, the desert gives way to the more fertile areas of north-central Syria. In the south, it runs into the deserts of the southern Arabian Peninsula. Many oases exist in the Syrian Desert such as Palmyra. Damascus is also located on an oasis. The desert's remarkable landscape was formed by lava flows from the volcanic region of the Jebel Druze in southern Syria. The Syrian Desert is the origin of the Syrian hamster.

Syrian Desert History

The desert was historically inhabited by bedouin tribes, and many tribes still remain in the region, their members living mainly in towns and settlements built near oases. Some bedouin still maintain their traditional way of life in the desert. Safaitic inscriptions, proto-Arabic texts written by literate bedouin, are found throughout the Syrian Desert. These date approximately from the 1st century B.C. to the 4th century A.D.

syrian desert

Iraq War

During the 2003 Iraq War, the desert served as a major supply line for the Iraqi insurgents, with the Iraq portion of the desert becoming a primary stronghold of the Sunni insurgents operating in the Al Anbar Governorate, particularly after the Coalition capture of Fallujah during Operation Phantom Fury. A series of Coalition military operations were relatively ineffective at removing the insurgent presence in the Desert. However as the insurgents began to gain control of the surrounding areas the importance of the Syrian desert as a center of operations was believed to have lessened. By September 2006 insurgents had gained control of virtually all of the Anbar Governorate and had moved most of their forces, equipment and leaders further east to insurgent-controlled cities near the Euphrates river; nevertheless the Syrian Desert remains one of the primary routes for smuggling equipment due to its location near the Syrian border.


Syrian Desert, Arabic Badiyat Ash Sham, arid wasteland, SW Asia, between the cultivated lands along the E Mediterranean coast and the fertile Euphrates River valley. It extends N from the Nafud Desert in Saudi Arabia and comprises W Iraq, E Jordan, and SE Syria. The famous Arabian horses are raised along the edges of the desert, which in the north is crossed by oil pipelines and by a motor route from Damascus to Baghdad. Several nomadic tribes inhabit the desert. Palmyra and other oases served as staging posts on ancient Mediterranean-Mesopotamian trade routes.


The Syrian Desert is a combination of true desert and steppe extending over a vast area, which takes in parts of modern Syria and also of Jordan and Iraq.

Its borders extend from the Orontes Valley, the Hauran and the edge of the Transjordanian Plateau in the west, to the banks of the River Euphrates in the East. In the North, the desert and steppe give way to the fertile area of North-Central Syria. In the south it runs unchecked through the basalt desert of South Syria and Jordan and into the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula.

Whilst seemingly an inhospitable environment, the location of several highly fertile oases has meant that it has been possible for successive societies to use the desert as an important east-west trade route. In Syria, the most important of these oasis cities are Damascus and Palmyra.