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Arid wasteland, Middle East. It extends over much of northern Saudi Arabia, eastern Jordan, southern Syria, and western Iraq. Largely covered by lava flows, it formed a nearly impenetrable barrier between the populated areas of the Levant and Mesopotamia until modern times; several major highways and oil pipelines now cross it.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Syrian Desert, visit Britannica.com.