The name Syria, formerly comprised the entire region of the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the site of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the third millennium BC. The region has seen empires come and go, including the Roman, Ottoman, and French empires. Modern Syria gained independence in 1946. It struggled as a republic throughout the 1960s, finally succumbing to a one-party dictatorship in 1970, with Hafez al-Assad as president. His son Bashar succeed him in 2000. Some initial hopes that Bashar would bring about reforms were disappointed. In 2011, the Syrian government cracked down on an uprising that was part of the Arab Spring, which led to a civil war that remains ongoing as of this writing.
In 2033, the Syrian capital Damascus was destroyed by a nuclear weapon smuggled into the city. Various countries and organizations were suspected, Syrian rebels, Israel, Turkey and the United States among them, but there was never concrete proof as to the culprits. Six decades later, it was assumed that the perpetrators were already dead - either in the blast itself or of old age - and that the truth would never come out.
Syria, like Mesopotamia, was periodically changing hands between the Roman and Persian Empires. Romans did not regard such periodic losses as catastrophic, since the Persians never penetrated deeper into the Imperial heartlands.
Syria was a province of the Byzantine Empire. In the 7th century, it had been invaded and occupied by the Persians. The occupation lasted for about 15 years before the Empire drove the Persians off and reclaimed the lost territory.
In 2017, Hafez ibn Abd-al-Rahim brought a copy of the Necronomicon to ar-Raqqah, Syria, ISIS' headquarters. He had to enter Syria from Turkey, and got lost at least once on the way to ar-Raqqah. When he arrived in the city, two men, Khalid and Ibrahim attempted to cast a spell to attack the United States. However, the spell went wrong, unleashing a creature that killed all those present and effectively destroyed the center of ar-Raqqah.
Syria was inhabited by the Ellenes, who sometimes fought alongside their distant cousins the Philistinians in various Middle Eastern conflicts. However, they lacked the oil wealth of the Arabs and the Turks of Babylonia. The Turks outnumbered the Syrian Ellenes three to one. Therefore, the Philistines could not take their aid for granted in any new war.