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The SYRIAN DESERT ( Arabic
Arabic
: بادية الشام, bādiyat ash-shām‎‎), also known as the Hamad, is a combination of steppe and true desert covering 500,000 square kilometers (200,000 square miles) of the Middle East
Middle East
, including parts of south-eastern Syria
Syria
, northeastern Jordan
Jordan
, northern Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
, and western Iraq
Iraq
. To the south it borders and merges into the Arabian Desert
Desert
. The land is open, gravely desert pavement , cut with occasional wadis .

CONTENTS

* 1 Location and name * 2 Geography * 3 Wildlife

* 4 History

* 4.1 Ancient * 4.2 Modern

* 5 See also * 6 References

LOCATION AND NAME

The desert is bounded by the Orontes Valley and volcanic field of Harrat al-Shamah to the west, and by the Euphrates
Euphrates
to the east. In the north, the desert gives way to the more fertile areas of grass, and the south it runs into the deserts of the southern Arabian Peninsula .

Some sources equate the Syrian Desert
Desert
with the "Hamad Desert", while others limit the name Hamad to the southern central plateau, and a few consider the Hamad to be the whole region and the Syrian Desert just the northern part.

Several parts of the Syrian Desert
Desert
have been referred to separately such as the Palmyrene desert around Palmyra
Palmyra
, and the Homs desert. View of the Syrian Desert.

The name Shamiyah has also been used for the Syrian Desert.

GEOGRAPHY

The 700-900m high region in the middle of the desert is the Hamad Plateau, a rather flat, stony semi-desert consisting of limestone bedrock covered with chert gravel. What little rain arrives on the plateau flows into local salt flats . The highest peaks of the Plateau are those of the 1000m+ Khawr um Wual in Saudi Arabia, and the 960m high Jebel Aneiza , at the border tripoint between Jordan, Iraq
Iraq
and Saudi Arabia.

Together with the other deserts of the Arabian Peninsular , the Hamad Desert
Desert
has been described as one of the most arid deserts of the world.

WILDLIFE

The Syrian Desert
Desert
is the origin of the Syrian hamster . Storks, herons, cranes, small waders, waterfowl and also raptors visit the seasonal lakes. Small rodents are common, as are their predators such as snakes, scorpions and camel spiders; previously common were gazelle, wolf, jackal, fox, cat and caracal , also ostrich, cheetah, hartebeest and onager . The large mammals are now no longer to be found, thought to be due to hunting by man.

HISTORY

ANCIENT

Palmyra
Palmyra
was an important trading center located in the Syrian desert

The desert was historically inhabited by Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes, and many tribes still remain in the region, their members living mainly in towns and settlements built near oases. Some Bedouin
Bedouin
still maintain their traditional way of life in the desert. Safaitic inscriptions, proto- Arabic
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.

One of the most important ancient settlements in the Syrian desert is Palmyra
Palmyra
, first mentioned in the second millenium BC, the city was an important trading center in Roman times, and its people were renowned merchants who took advantage of its strategic position on the silk road linking the far east to the mediterranean, by taxing passing by caravans, establishing colonies on the silk road, and trading in the rare commodities from the far east, thus bringing enormous wealth to their city. The city's people were a combination of Arameans , Amorites
Amorites
and Arabs
Arabs
.

Another important ancient settlement is the city of Dura-Europos on the Euphrates
Euphrates
. Originally a fortress, it was founded by the Seleucids by the name of Dura, which means "Fortress", , but was called Europos by the Greeks, as the combination Dura-Europos is a modern invention . The city prospered, mainly for its location on the Euphrates
Euphrates
, importantly linking Mesopotomia to the Mediterranean, thus playing a huge part in both the commercial and military connections between the two regions. It was, however, raided by the Sassanian king Shapur I
Shapur I
in the 250s, most of its citizens fled, and under Sassanian rule, the city was subsequently abandoned.

MODERN

The desert was first traversed by motor vehicle in 1919. During the Iraq
Iraq
War , the desert served as a major supply line for the Iraqi resistance , with the Iraq
Iraq
portion of the desert becoming a primary stronghold of the Sunni
Sunni
resistance 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 resistance presence in the Desert. As the resistance began to gain control of the surrounding areas, coalition spokesmen began to downplay the importance of the Syrian desert as a center of operations; nevertheless the Syrian Desert
Desert
remains one of the primary routes for smuggling equipment due to its location near the Syrian border. By September 2006 the resistance had gained control of virtually all of the Anbar Governorate and had moved most of their forces, equipment and leaders further east to resistance-controlled cities near the Euphrates
Euphrates
river.

SEE ALSO

* Arabian desert
Arabian desert
* Fertile Crescent * List of deserts by area * Syrian steppe

REFERENCES

* ^ A B Encyclopædia Britannica: A New Survey of Universal Knowledge, Volume 2. 1941. p. 173. Retrieved 2 February 2017. * ^ Harris, Nathaniel (2003). "Syrian+desert" Atlas of the world\'s deserts. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn. pp. 49, 51. ISBN 9781579583101 . Retrieved 2 February 2017. * ^ A B C Betts, Alison (1996). The Harra and the Hamad : excavations and surveys in Eastern Jordan, vol. 1. England: Collis Publication. p. 1. ISBN 9781850756149 . Retrieved 2 February 2017. * ^ Syrian Desert
Desert
at the Wayback Machine (archived January 13, 2008), New International Encyclopedia, Edition 2, Published by Dodd, Mead, 1914, Arabia, page 795 and Syrian Desert, Encarta * ^ "Syrian Desert". Britannica.com. 1999. Retrieved 3 February 2017. * ^ The International Whitaker, Volume 2. International Whitaker. 1913. p. 62. Retrieved 3 February 2017. * ^ Annual Review, Volume 2. Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. 1973. p. 476. Retrieved 3 February 2017. * ^ A B McIntosh, Jane (2005). "Shamiyah+desert" Ancient Mesopotamia: New Perspectives. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO
ABC-CLIO
. p. 11. ISBN 9781576079652 . Retrieved 3 February 2017. * ^ Wagner, Wolfgang (2011). Groundwater in the Arab Middle East. New York: Springer. p. 141. ISBN 9783642193514 . Retrieved 2 February 2017. * ^ "Jebel ‘Aneiza, Saudi Arabia". geographic.org. Retrieved 2 February 2017. * ^ "Transboundary Aquifers, Challenges and New Directions" (PDF). Paris: UNESCO
UNESCO
. December 2010. p. 4. Retrieved 2 February 2017. * ^ McPherson, Charles W. (1987). Laboratory hamsters. Orlando: Academic Press. p. 216. ISBN 9780127141657 . Retrieved 2 February 2017. * ^ Harrison, Thomas (2009). The Great Empires of the Ancient World. p. 180. ISBN 9781136192715 . * ^ A B C D E Dirven, Lucinda (1999). The Palmyrenes of Dura-Europos: A Study of Religious Interaction in Roman Syria. p. 2. ISBN 9789004115897 . * ^ Grant, Christina Phelps (2003). The Syrian desert : caravans, travel and exploration. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. p. 273. ISBN 9781136192715 . * ^ "U.S. diplomat apologizes for remarks". MSNBC. 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2011-02-02. * ^ Knickmeyer, Ellen (2006-05-29). "U.S. Will Reinforce Troops in West Iraq". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2011-02-02. * ^ "WP: U.S. to reinforce troops in west Iraq". MSNBC. 2006-05-30. Retrieved 2011-02-02. * ^ "Situation Called Dire in West Iraq". Washington Post. 2006-09-10. Retrieved 2011-02-02. * ^ http://www.freemarketnews.com/WorldNews.asp?nid=

* v * t * e

Ancient Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia

GEOGRAPHY

MODERN

* Euphrates
Euphrates
* Upper Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
* Mesopotamian Marshes
Mesopotamian Marshes
* Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
* Syrian Desert * Taurus Mountains * Tigris
Tigris
* Zagros Mountains

ANCIENT

* Akkad * Assyria
Assyria
* Babylonia
Babylonia
* Chaldea * Elam * Hittites * Media * Mitanni * Sumer
Sumer
* Urartu * Cities

HISTORY

PRE- / PROTOHISTORY

* Acheulean * Mousterian * Trialetian
Trialetian
* Zarzian * Natufian * Nemrikian * Khiamian * Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) * Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
(PPNB) * Hassuna /Samarra * Halaf * Ubaid * Uruk * Jemdet Nasr * Kish civilization

HISTORY

* Early Dynastic * Akkadian
Akkadian
* Ur III * Old Babylonian * Kassite * Neo-Assyrian * Neo-Babylonian * Achaemenid * Seleucid * Parthian * Roman * Sasanian * Muslim conquest * Timeline of the Assyrian Empire

LANGUAGES

* Akkadian
Akkadian
* Amorite * Aramaic * Eblaite * Elamite * Gutian * Hittite * Hurrian * Luwian * Middle Persian * Old Persian * Parthian * Proto-Armenian * Sumerian * Urartian

CULTURE / SOCIETY

* Architecture * Art * Cuneiform script * Akkadian
Akkadian
literature * Sumerian literature * Music * Religion

ARCHAEOLOGY

* Looting * Destruction by ISIL * Tell

PORTAL

* v * t * e

Iraq
Iraq
articles

HISTORY

ANCIENT

* Sumer
Sumer
* Akkadian Empire
Akkadian Empire
* Babylonia
Babylonia
* Assyria
Assyria
* Neo-Assyrian Empire * Neo-Babylonian Empire * Achaemenid Assyria
Assyria
* Seleucid Babylonia
Babylonia
* Parthian Babylonia
Babylonia
* Sassanid Asorestan

638–1958

* Muslim conquest of Persia
Muslim conquest of Persia
* Abbasid Caliphate * Buyid dynasty
Buyid dynasty
* Kara Koyunlu * Ak Koyunlu * Safavids * Ottoman Iraq
Iraq
(Mamluk dynasty ) * Mandatory Iraq
Iraq
* Kingdom of Iraq
Iraq
* Arab Federation

REPUBLIC

* 1958–68 * 1968–2003 * 2003–11 * 2011–present

* Arab Socialist Ba\'ath Party – Iraq
Iraq
Region (National Command ) * Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
* Iran– Iraq
Iraq
War * Invasion of Kuwait * Gulf War
Gulf War
* Sanctions

* Iraq
Iraq
War

* U.S. invasion * Iraqi insurgency * U.S. troop withdrawal

* Insurgency (2011–2013)

* Civil War (2014–present)

* Mosul liberation

GEOGRAPHY

* Al-Faw Peninsula * Al-Jazira * Euphrates
Euphrates
* Hamrin Mountains * Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
* Islands * Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
* Mesopotamian Marshes
Mesopotamian Marshes
* Places * Lakes * Shatt al-Arab
Shatt al-Arab
* Syrian Desert * Tigris
Tigris
* Umm Qasr * Zagros Mountains

POLITICS

* Administrative divisions * Constitution * Council of Representatives (legislative) * Elections * Foreign aid * Foreign relations

* Government

* Council of Ministers * Presidency Council * President * Prime Minister

* Human rights

* in pre-Saddam Iraq
Iraq
* in Saddam Hussein\'s Iraq
Iraq

* in post-invasion Iraq
Iraq

* in ISIL-controlled territory

* LGBT * Freedom of religion * Women

* Law * Military * Police * Political parties * Judiciary * Wars and conflicts

ECONOMY

* Central Bank * Dinar (currency) * Infrastructure * Oil Industry * Oil reserves * Reconstruction * Stock Exchange * Telecommunications * Transportation

SOCIETY

* Cuisine * Culture * Education * Health * Media * Music * Sports

DEMOGRAPHICS

* Iraqis
Iraqis

* diaspora * refugees

* Languages

* Arabic
Arabic
* Aramaic * Kurdish * Persian * Turkmen

* Minorities

* Armenians * Assyrians * Circassians * Kurds * Mandaeans * Marsh Arabs
Arabs
* Persians * Solluba * Turkmen

* Religion

* Islam * Christianity * Jews * Mandaeism
Mandaeism
* Yazidis
Yazidis

* Outline * Index

* Category
Category
* Portal
Portal

* v * t * e

Syria
Syria
articles

HISTORY

* Timeline * Ancient history * Neo-Assyrian Empire * Roman province * Syria
Syria
Palaestina * Palmyrene Empire * Byzantine Syria
Syria
* Caliphate Syria
Syria
(Bilad al-Sham) * Ottoman * Arab kingdom

* French Mandate

* State of Syria
Syria

* Syrian Republic * Modern Syria
Syria
* Civil War

GEOGRAPHY

* Cities * Districts * Governorates * territories * Rivers * Volcanoes

FEATURES

* Al-Jazira * Anti-Lebanon mountains
Anti-Lebanon mountains
* Euphrates
Euphrates
* Golan Heights
Golan Heights
* Hauran * Hermon * Orontes * Syrian Desert

RELATED

* Syria
Syria
(region) * Southern Syria
Syria
* Fertile Crescent * Levant
Levant

POLITICS

* Constitution

* Council of Ministers

* Prime Minister

* list

* Elections

* Foreign relations

* Golan Heights
Golan Heights
claim * Iskandaron

* Government ministries

* Human rights

* LGBT

* Judiciary

* High council * Supreme Constitutional Court

* Parliament

* Speakers

* nationalism

* Greater Syria
Syria

* Political parties

* Arab Socialist Ba\'ath Party

* national / regional command

* National Progressive Front * Popular Front for Change and Liberation

* President

* list

* Terrorism * Vice President

MILITARY

* Army

* Air force

* air defense

* Navy * Weapons of mass destruction

ECONOMY

* Agriculture * Central Bank * Companies * International rankings * Pound (currency) * Securities Exchange (stock exchange)

INFRASTRUCTURE

* Energy and mineral resources

* Petroleum industry

* Telecommunications * Transport * Water supply and sanitation

SOCIETY

* Demographics * Education * Health

* People

* diaspora * refugees (2011–present)

* Public holidays * Scouting

CULTURE

* Anthem * Coat of arms * Cuisine * Films * Flag

* Media

* television

* Music * Religion * Smoking

* Outline * Index

* Book
Book
* Category
Category
* Portal
Portal

* v * t * e

World deserts

* Desert
Desert
* Desertification * List of deserts * List of deserts by area

AFRICA

* Algerian * Bayuda * Blue * Chalbi * Danakil * Djurab * Eastern * Ferlo * Farafra (White) * Kalahari * Libyan * Moçâmedes * Namib * Nubian * Nyiri * Owami * Richtersveld * Sahara
Sahara
* Tanezrouft * Ténéré * Western

ASIA

* Ad-Dahna * Akshi * Arabian * Aral Karakum * Aralkum * Badain Jaran * Betpak-Dala
Betpak-Dala
* Cholistan * Dasht-e Kavir * Dasht-e Khash * Dasht-e Leili
Dasht-e Leili
* Dasht-e Loot
Dasht-e Loot
* Dasht-e Margo
Dasht-e Margo
* Dasht-e Naomid * Gurbantünggüt * Gobi * Hami * Indus Valley * Judaean * Karakum * Katpana * Kharan * Kumtag * Kyzylkum * Liwa * Lop * Maranjab * Muyunkum * Nefud * Negev
Negev
* Polond * Ordos * Qaidam * Ramlat al-Sab\'atayn * Rub\' al Khali * Russian Arctic
Arctic
* Registan * Saryesik-Atyrau * Syrian * Taklamakan * Tengger * Thal * Thar * Ustyurt Plateau * Wahiba Sands

AUSTRALIA

* Gibson * Great Sandy * Great Victoria * Little Sandy * Nullarbor Plain * Painted * Pedirka * Simpson * Strzelecki * Sturt\'s Stony * Tanami * Tirari

EUROPE

* Accona * Bardenas Reales
Bardenas Reales
* Błędów * Cabo de Gata * Deliblatska Peščara * Hálendi * Monegros * Oleshky * Oltenian Sahara
Sahara
* Ryn * Stranja * Tabernas

NORTH AMERICA

* Alvord * Amargosa * Baja California * Black Rock * Carcross * Carson * Channeled scablands * Chihuahuan * Colorado * Escalante * Forty Mile * Gran Desierto de Altar * Great Basin * Great Salt Lake * Great Sandy * Jornada del Muerto
Jornada del Muerto
* Kaʻū * Lechuguilla * Mojave * North American Arctic * Owyhee * Painted Desert
Desert
* Red Desert
Desert
* Sevier * Smoke Creek * Sonoran * Tonopah Desert
Desert
* Tule (Arizona) * Tule (Nevada) * Yp * Yuha * Yuma

SOUTH AMERICA

* Atacama * La Guajira * Los Médanos de Coro * Monte * Patagonian * Sechura * Tatacoa

OCEANIA

* Zealandia : Rangipo Desert
Desert

POLAR REGIONS

* Antarctica
Antarctica
* Arctic
Arctic
* Greenland