Al-Qaeda is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam, several other Arab volunteers during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda operates as a network of Salafist jihadists; the organization has been designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and various other countries. Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on non-military and military targets in various countries, including the 1998 United States embassy bombings, the September 11 attacks, the 2002 Bali bombings; the United States government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the "War on Terror", which sought to undermine al-Qaeda and its allies. The deaths of key leaders, including that of Osama bin Laden, have led al-Qaeda's operations to shift from the top down organization and planning of attacks, to the planning of attacks which are carried out by associated groups and lone-wolf operators.
Al-Qaeda characteristically employs attacks which include suicide attacks and the simultaneous bombing of several targets. Activities which are ascribed to al-Qaeda involve the actions of those who have made a pledge of loyalty to bin Laden, or to the actions of "al-Qaeda-linked" individuals who have undergone training in one of its camps in Afghanistan, Iraq or Sudan. Al-Qaeda ideologues envision the removal of all foreign influences in Muslim countries, the creation of a new caliphate ruling over the entire Muslim world. Among the beliefs ascribed to al-Qaeda members is the conviction that a Christian–Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam; as Salafist jihadists, members of al-Qaeda believe that the killing of non-combatants is religiously sanctioned. This belief ignores the aspects of religious scripture which forbid the murder of non-combatants and internecine fighting. Al-Qaeda opposes what it regards as man-made laws, wants to replace them with a strict form of sharia law. Al-Qaeda has carried out many attacks on targets.
Al-Qaeda is responsible for instigating sectarian violence among Muslims. Al-Qaeda's leaders regard liberal Muslims, Shias and other sects as heretical and its members and sympathizers have attacked their mosques and gatherings. Examples of sectarian attacks include the Yazidi community bombings, the Sadr City bombings, the Ashoura massacre and the April 2007 Baghdad bombings. Following the death of bin Laden in 2011, the group has been led by Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Qaeda's philosophy calls for the centralization of decision making, while allowing for the decentralization of execution. However, after the War on Terror, al-Qaeda's leadership has become isolated; as a result, the leadership has become decentralized, the organization has become regionalized into several al-Qaeda groups. Many terrorism experts do not believe that the global jihadist movement is driven at every level by al-Qaeda's leadership. However, bin Laden held considerable ideological sway over some Muslim extremists before his death.
Experts argue that al-Qaeda has fragmented into a number of disparate regional movements, that these groups bear little connection with one another. This view mirrors the account given by Osama bin Laden in his October 2001 interview with Tayseer Allouni: this matter isn't about any specific person and... is not about the al-Qa'idah Organization. We are the children of an Islamic Nation, with Prophet Muhammad as its leader, our Lord is one... and all the true believers are brothers. So the situation isn't like the West portrays it, that there is an'organization' with a specific name and so on; that particular name is old. It was born without any intention from us. Brother Abu Ubaida... created a military base to train the young men to fight against the vicious, brutal, terrorizing Soviet empire... So this place was called ` The Base', as in a training base, so this name became. We aren't separated from this nation. We are the children of a nation, we are an inseparable part of it, from those public *** which spread from the far east, from the Philippines, to Indonesia, to Malaysia, to India, to Pakistan, reaching Mauritania... and so we discuss the conscience of this nation.
Bruce Hoffman, sees al-Qaeda as a cohesive network, led from the Pakistani tribal areas. Al-Qaeda has the following direct affiliates: Al-Qaeda's indirect affiliates includes the following, some of which have left the organization and joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: Osama bin Laden was the Senior Operations Chief of al-Qaeda prior to his assassination by US forces on May 1, 2011. Atiyah Abd al-Rahman was alleged to be second in command prior to his death on August 22, 2011. Bin Laden was advised by a Shura Council; the group was estimated to consist of 20–30 people. One such member is thought to have been Sayed Tayib al-Madani. Ayman al-Zawahiri had been al-Qaeda's Deputy Operations Chief and assumed the role of commander after bin Laden's death. Al-Zawahiri replaced Saif al-Adel. On June 5, 2012, Pakistani intelligence officials announced that al-Rahman's alleged successor Abu Yahya al-Libi had been killed in Pakistan. Nasir al-Wuhayshi was said to have become second in command in 2013.
He was the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, until he was killed in a US airstrike in June 2015. Al-Qaeda's network was built from scratch as a conspiratoria
Reuters is an international news organization. It has nearly 200 locations around the world; until 2008, the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, a provider of financial market data. Since the acquisition of Reuters Group by the Thomson Corporation in 2008, the Reuters news agency has been a part of Thomson Reuters, making up the media division. Reuters transmits news in English, German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Japanese and Chinese, it was established in 1851. The Reuter agency was established in 1851 by Paul Julius Reuter in Britain at the London Royal Exchange. Paul Reuter worked at a book-publishing firm in Berlin and was involved in distributing radical pamphlets at the beginning of the Revolutions in 1848; these publications brought much attention to Reuter, who in 1850 developed a prototype news service in Aachen using homing pigeons and electric telegraphy from 1851 on in order to transmit messages between Brussels and Aachen, in what today is Aachen's Reuters House.
Upon moving to England, he founded Reuter's Telegram Company in 1851. Headquartered in London, the company covered commercial news, serving banks, brokerage houses, business firms; the first newspaper client to subscribe was the London Morning Advertiser in 1858. Afterwards more newspapers signed up, with Britannica Encyclopedia writing that "the value of Reuters to newspapers lay not only in the financial news it provided but in its ability to be the first to report on stories of international importance." Reuter's agency built a reputation in Europe and the rest of the world as the first to report news scoops from abroad. Reuters was the first to report Abraham Lincoln's assassination in Europe, for instance, in 1865. In 1872, Reuters expanded into the far east, followed by South America in 1874. Both expansions were made possible by advances in overland telegraphs and undersea cables. In 1883, Reuters began transmitting messages electrically to London newspapers. In 1923, Reuters began using radio to transmit a pioneering act.
In 1925, The Press Association of Great Britain acquired a majority interest in Reuters, full ownership some years later. During the world wars, The Guardian reported that Reuters "came under pressure from the British government to serve national interests. In 1941 Reuters deflected the pressure by restructuring itself as a private company." The new owners formed the Reuters Trust. In 1941, the PA sold half of Reuters to the Newspaper Proprietors' Association, co-ownership was expanded in 1947 to associations that represented daily newspapers in New Zealand and Australia; the Reuters Trust Principles were put in place to maintain the company's independence. At that point, Reuters had become "one of the world's major news agencies, supplying both text and images to newspapers, other news agencies, radio and television broadcasters." At that point, it directly or through national news agencies provided service "to most countries, reaching all the world's leading newspapers and many thousands of smaller ones," according to Britannica.
In 1961, Reuters scooped news of the erection of the Berlin Wall. Reuters was one of the first news agencies to transmit financial data over oceans via computers in the 1960s. In 1973, Reuters "began making computer-terminal displays of foreign-exchange rates available to clients." In 1981, Reuters began making electronic transactions on its computer network and afterwards developed a number of electronic brokerage and trading services. Reuters was floated as a public company in 1984, when Reuters Trust was listed on the stock exchanges such as the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Reuters published the first story of the Berlin Wall being breached in 1989; the share price grew during the dotcom boom fell after the banking troubles in 2001. In 2002, Brittanica wrote that most news throughout the world came from three major agencies: the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse. Reuters merged with Thomson Corporation in Canada in 2008. In 2009, Thomson Reuters withdrew from the LSE and the NASDAQ, instead listing its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
The last surviving member of the Reuters family founders, Baroness de Reuter, died at age 96 on 25 January 2009. The parent company Thomson Reuters is headquartered in Toronto, provides financial information to clients while maintaining its traditional news-agency business. In 2012, Thomson Reuters appointed Jim Smith as CEO; every major news outlet in the world subscribed to Reuters as of 2014. Reuters operated in more than 200 cities in 94 countries in about 20 languages as of 2014. In July 2016, Thomson Reuters agreed to sell its intellectual property and science operation for $3.55 billion to private equity firms. In October 2016, Thomson Reuters announced relocations to Toronto; as part of cuts and restructuring, in November 2016, Thomson Reuters Corp. eliminated 2,000 worldwide jobs out of its around 50,000 employees. Reuters employs 600 photojournalists in about 200 locations worldwide. Reuters journalists use the Reuters Handbook of Journalism as a guide for fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests, to maintain the values of integrity and freedom upon which their reputation for reliability, accuracy and exclusivity relies.
In May 2000, Kurt Schork, an American reporter, was killed in an ambush while on assignment in Sierra Leone. In April and August 2003, news cameramen Taras Protsyuk and Mazen Dana were killed in separate incidents by U. S. troops in Iraq. In July 2007, Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh were killed when they w
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Free Syrian Army
The Free Syrian Army is a loose faction in the Syrian Civil War founded on 29 July 2011 by officers of the Syrian Armed Forces who said their goal was to bring down the government of Bashar al-Assad. A formal organization at its founding, its structure dissipated by late 2012, the FSA identity has since been used by various opposition groups. In late 2011, it was considered the main Syrian military defectors group, it had success against vastly better armed government forces. From July 2012 onward, ill-discipline and lack of funding weakened the FSA, while Islamist groups became dominant within the armed opposition; the Free Syrian Army aims to be "the military wing of the Syrian people's opposition to the regime", it aims to bring down the government by armed operations, encouraging army defections and by carrying out armed action. As the Syrian Army is organized and well-armed, the Free Syrian Army has adopted guerrilla-style tactics in the countryside and cities; the FSA's military strategy is focused on a dispersed countrywide guerrilla campaign with a tactical focus on armed action in the capital of Damascus.
The campaign was not meant to hold territory, but rather, to spread government forces and their logistics chains thin in battles for urban centers, to cause attrition in the security forces, to degrade morale and to destabilize Damascus, the center of government. After the Turkish military intervention in Syria in 2016, an informal group of Turkish-backed Arabs and Turkmen was established under the name "Free Syrian Army", with on-ground support of an organised military backed by Turkish and British airpower; the group cooperates with Turkish troops in Syria. The first defections from the Syrian Army during the Syrian uprising may have occurred end of April 2011 when the army was sent into Daraa to quell ongoing protests. There were reports that some units had split from the army. Defections, according to unverified reports, continued throughout the spring as the government used lethal force to clamp down on protesters and lay siege to protesting cities across the country, such as Baniyas, Hama and Deir ez-Zor, there were reports of soldiers who refused to fire on civilians and were summarily executed by the army.
At the end of July 2011, with the Syrian uprising running since March 2011, a group of defected Syrian Army officers established the'Free Syrian Army' to bring down the Assad government. On 29 July 2011, Colonel Riad al-Asaad and a group of uniformed officers announced the formation of the Free Syrian Army or'Syrian Free Army', with the goals of protecting unarmed protesters and helping to "bring down this regime", in a video on the Internet where Riad al-Asaad spoke alongside several other defectors. Colonel Al-Asaad explained that the Free Army's formation resulted from the defecting soldiers' sense of nationalistic duty, loyalty to the people, the need for decisive action to stop government killings, the army's responsibility to protect unarmed people, he proceeded to announce the formation of the Free Syrian Army, its intention to work hand in hand with the people and with demonstrators to achieve freedom and dignity, bring the government down, protect the revolution and the country's resources, stand in the face of the irresponsible military machine that protects the "system".
Colonel Al-Asaad called on the officers and men of the Syrian army to "defect from the army, stop pointing their rifles at their people's chests, join the free army, form a national army that can protect the revolution and all sections of the Syrian people with all their sects." He said that the Syrian army " gangs that protect the regime", declared that "as of now, the security forces that kill civilians and besiege cities will be treated as legitimate targets. We will target them in all parts of the Syrian territories without exception". Desertion of soldiers to the Free Syrian Army was documented in videos. On 23 September 2011, the Free Syrian Army merged with the Free Officers Movement. From 27 September to 1 October, Syrian government forces, backed by tanks and helicopters, led a major offensive on the city of Rastan in Homs province, under opposition control for a couple weeks. There were reports of large numbers of defections in the city, the Free Syrian Army reported it had destroyed 17 armoured vehicles during clashes in Rastan, using RPGs and booby traps.
A defected officer in the Syrian opposition claimed that over a hundred officers had defected as well as thousands of conscripts, although many had gone into hiding or home to their families, rather than fighting the loyalist forces. The Battle of Rastan between the government forces and the Free Syrian Army was the longest and most intense action up until that time. After a week of fighting, the FSA was forced to retreat from Rastan. To avoid government forces, the leader of the FSA, Col. Riad Asaad, retreated to the Turkish side of Syrian-Turkish border. By October 2011, the leadership of the FSA consisting of 60–70 people including commander Riad al-Assad was harbored in an'officers' camp' in Turkey guarded by the Turkish military. In early November 2011, two FSA units in the Damascus area confronted regime forces. In mid-November, in an effort to weaken the pro-Assad forces, the FSA released a statement which announced that a temporary military council had been formed
Cable News Network is an American news-based pay television channel owned by WarnerMedia News & Sports, a division of AT&T's WarnerMedia. CNN was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner as a 24-hour cable news channel. Upon its launch, CNN was the first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage, was the first all-news television channel in the United States. While the news channel has numerous affiliates, CNN broadcasts from the Time Warner Center in New York City, studios in Washington, D. C. and Los Angeles. Its headquarters at the CNN Center in Atlanta is only used for weekend programming. CNN is sometimes referred to as CNN/U. S. to distinguish the American channel from CNN International. As of August 2010, CNN is available in over 100 million U. S. households. Broadcast coverage of the U. S. channel extends to over 890,000 American hotel rooms, as well as carriage on subscription providers throughout Canada. As of July 2015, CNN is available to about 96,374,000 pay-television households in the United States.
Globally, CNN programming airs through CNN International, which can be seen by viewers in over 212 countries and territories. The Cable News Network was launched at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on June 1, 1980. After an introduction by Ted Turner, the husband and wife team of David Walker and Lois Hart anchored the channel's first newscast. Burt Reinhardt, the executive vice president of CNN at its launch, hired most of the channel's first 200 employees, including the network's first news anchor, Bernard Shaw. Since its debut, CNN has expanded its reach to a number of cable and satellite television providers, several websites, specialized closed-circuit channels; the company has 42 bureaus, more than 900 affiliated local stations, several regional and foreign-language networks around the world. The channel's success made a bona-fide mogul of founder Ted Turner and set the stage for conglomerate Time Warner's eventual acquisition of the Turner Broadcasting System in 1996. A companion channel, CNN2, was launched on January 1, 1982 and featured a continuous 24-hour cycle of 30-minute news broadcasts.
The channel, which became known as CNN Headline News and is now known as HLN focused on live news coverage supplemented by personality-based programs during the evening and primetime hours. The first Persian Gulf War in 1991 was a watershed event for CNN that catapulted the channel past the "Big Three" American networks for the first time in its history due to an unprecedented, historical scoop: CNN was the only news outlet with the ability to communicate from inside Iraq during the initial hours of the Coalition bombing campaign, with live reports from the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad by reporters Bernard Shaw, John Holliman and Peter Arnett; the moment when bombing began was announced on CNN by Shaw on January 16, 1991, as follows: This is Bernie Shaw. Something is happening outside.... Peter Arnett, join me here. Let's describe to our viewers what we're seeing... The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated.... We're seeing bright flashes going off all over the sky. Unable to broadcast live pictures from Baghdad, CNN's coverage of the initial hours of the Gulf War had the dramatic feel of a radio broadcast – and was compared to legendary CBS news anchor Edward R. Murrow's gripping live radio reports of the German bombing of London during World War II.
Despite the lack of live pictures, CNN's coverage was carried by television stations and networks around the world, resulting in CNN being watched by over a billion viewers worldwide. The Gulf War experience brought CNN some much sought-after legitimacy and made household names of obscure reporters. In 2000, media scholar and director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University, Robert Thompson, stated that having turned 20, CNN was now the "old guard." Shaw, known for his live-from-Bagdhad reporting during the Gulf War, became CNN's chief anchor until his retirement in 2001. Others include then-Pentagon correspondent Wolf Blitzer and international correspondent Christiane Amanpour. Amanpour's presence in Iraq was caricatured by actress Nora Dunn as ruthless reporter Adriana Cruz in the 1999 film Three Kings. Time Warner-owned sister network HBO produced a television movie, Live from Baghdad, about CNN's coverage of the first Gulf War. Coverage of the first Gulf War and other crises of the early 1990s led officials at the Pentagon to coin the term "the CNN effect" to describe the perceived impact of real time, 24-hour news coverage on the decision-making processes of the American government.
CNN was the first cable news channel. Anchor Carol Lin was on the air to deliver the first public report of the event, she broke into a commercial at 8:49 a.m. Eastern Time that morning and said:This just in. You are looking at a disturbing live shot there; that is the World Trade Center, we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. CNN Center right now is just beginning to work on this story calling our sources and trying to figure out what happened, but something devastating happening this morning there on the south end of the island of Manhattan; that is once again, a picture of one of the towers of the World Trade Center. Sean Murtagh, CNN vice president of finance and administration, was the first network employe
Syria the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Isma'ilis, Shiites, Salafis and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria. Syria is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism, it is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement. In English, the name "Syria" was synonymous with the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Aleppo and the capital city Damascus are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The modern Syrian state was established in mid-20th century after centuries of Ottoman and a brief period French mandate, represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the Ottoman-ruled Syrian provinces, it gained de-jure independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945, when Republic of Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which ended the former French Mandate – although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946. The post-independence period was tumultuous, a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–71. In 1958, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic, terminated by the 1961 Syrian coup d'état; the republic was renamed into the Arab Republic of Syria in late 1961 after December 1 constitutional referendum, was unstable until the 1963 Ba'athist coup d'état, since which the Ba'ath Party has maintained its power.
Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011 suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, in office from 1971 to 2000. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise; as a result, a number of self-proclaimed political entities have emerged on Syrian territory, including the Syrian opposition, Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Syria is ranked last on the Global Peace Index, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war, although life continues for most of its citizens as of December 2017; the war caused more than 470,000 deaths, 7.6 million internally displaced people and over 5 million refugees, making population assessment difficult in recent years. Several sources indicate that the name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term "Sura/i", the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, both of which derived from Aššūrāyu in northern Mesopotamia.
However, from the Seleucid Empire, this term was applied to The Levant, from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant. Mainstream modern academic opinion favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria derived from the Akkadian Aššur; the Greek name appears to correspond to Phoenician ʾšr "Assur", ʾšrym "Assyrians", recorded in the 8th century BC Çineköy inscription. The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene and Adiabene. By Pliny's time, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire: Judaea renamed Palaestina in AD 135 in the extreme southwest.
Since 10,000 BC, Syria was one of the centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone and burnt lime. Finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during Bronze Age. Archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth preceded by only those of Mesopotamia; the earliest recorded in