Damascus was once a great centre of trade and study. Many other sites had their own historical achievements - Aleppo, Arwad, Tartus, Latakia ...
Under Egyptian empire (L), under Mesopotamia (R)
Syria was part of the Phoenician civilization that gave an outshoot empire at Carthage, north Africa that is now the maghrib region. They were great sea-fearers and had their own alphabets.
Under Assyrian (L), conquered by Alexander (R)
The Latin kingdom was established in the coastal part of Syria when the 1st Crusade captured Baitul Maqaddis in 1099. Salahudin al-Ayubi recaptured Jerusalem in 1244.
Under Mameluke (L), Ottoman (R)
The civil strife will put Syria much waste again this time by its own effort. May Allah bless Syria.