Syria became a protectorate of the Byzantine Empire after the Second Great War. The Syrian Caliphate, despite having lost its Egyptian holdings, still commanded a vast land stretching from Damascus to Baghdad in Mesopotamia, to Cestiphon in Persia. Much of the land is in general desert, and most of the population is centered around the main cities of the country. With a population of 60 million, and GDP of 808 million (as of 2008.), the country is considered Second World.
Unlike their Egyptian breathen who drifted into Japanistani orbit, the Syrians drifted into Byzantine orbit, and was the most Westernised of the two. With Byzantine aid, they grew a domestic industry as well as reformed their education system. Many of their brightest headed to Byzantium for further study. The economy has grown substantially since the end of the Great War, in part with Byzantine financial assistance, and annual tribute.
The current Sultan, Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb IV, is a progressive ruler, who has slowly steered his population towards secular rule over the last two decades. He has however, not forsaken his title of Caliph of the Islamic World and is a God-fearing man who has tried to show a good example to his subjects. He is regarded a personal friend of the Byzantine Emperor, and both rulers exchange visits yearly. The Sultanamet of Damascus was a gift of the last Byzantine Emperor, and financed with Byzantine Solidi to cement the friendship of the two empires and a final laying to rest of old grudges.
Currently, the Syrian military is about the size of the real world Turkey, with T-80UM2s and T-72B dominating the army, and the navy is composed of frigates and corvettes, and a few destroyers and submarines, while the Air Force flies MiG-29s and Su-27s. While not as advanced as first world navies, the Syrian military is strong enough to repel any invader, and to make them pay twice for every blood spilled. The Syrian military also operates S-300PMU2 and S-400 systems. At the moment, the Syrian military is in the state of modernization, where it will take small quantities of new war materiel to ensure it keeps its edge.