Despite hopes for independence, a French mandate over Syria was declared by the League of Nations in 1922. This resulted in much hostile feeling towards France by the Syrian people.
A long struggle ensued and when the British left Syria in 1946, the country became both a republic and a charter member of the United Nations.
Political instability followed the birth of the republic with one military coup succeeding another. In 1963 the Ba'ath party came to power and the country began to stablize. Another coup in 1970 brought to power the then Defense Minister Hafez al-Assad who has remained as President to the present day.