Difference Between Syria & Assyria

Syria and Assyria are two names that have been a constant source of confusion for both common people, as well as, historians. This is because of the ancient Assyrian civilization and the modern nation called Syria in the Middle East. Though Syrian people are believed to be descendants of the earlier Assyrian people, there are differences between Assyria and Syria that are highlighted in this article.


Assyrians are distinct ethnic people that belong to ancient civilization in Mesopotamia. These people come from a civilization called Sumero Akkadian that is believed to be as old as 3500 BC and these people were spread over what is current Iraq, Iran, Syria and some other adjacent countries. At one point of time, this was a strong and powerful Assyrian nation that held sway over a large area till up to 7th century BC. The direct descendants of the ancient Assyrians are still found in Syria, Iraq, Iran and some parts of Turkey. Large scale migration of Assyrian people took place in the 20th century because of persecution of the population by Shia and Sunni extremists and today these people can be found in far off countries like Australia, Sweden, Germany, Russia, Armenia, Israel, Jordan etc. These people were displaced from their homelands as late as Iraq war in 1990 from where a majority of those who fled belonged to Assyrian population.


Syrian Arab Republic is a country in West Asia bordering Jordan, Israel, Iraq, and Turkey. The capital of Syria, Damascus, is believed to be the oldest inhabited city in the world. The name Syria comes from Syrians, and a term Greeks used to refer to ancient Assyrian people.

Syria has a long coastline bordering Mediterranean Sea, and it has large Syrian Desert. The country is Muslim dominated with 10% Christians. Among Muslims, it is three fourth Sunnis and others being Shia Muslims. It is the 10% Christian population that comprises the bulk of ancient Assyrian population. Syria gained independence in 1946. Earlier it was a French territory. It declared itself as a parliamentary Republic soon after gaining independence.

Key Takeaways

  • Syria is a modern nation in West Asia while Assyria was an ancient empire that flourished around 3500 BC.
  • The people of ancient Assyria are found in many countries such as Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey while the present day Syria is a Muslim dominated country.
  • Assyrians were Semites while Syrians are mostly Arabic.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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