I always thought Assyria and Syria are the same country. Is that so?
Assyria and Syria were originally two different nations although their founders, Asshur and Aram, were brothers, sons of Shem (Genesis 10:22). The Assyrians conquered Aram, as Syria was originally known, shortly before conquering the Northern Kingdom of Israel (730-720 BC). The Babylonians eventually conquered Assyria and at that time both Assyria and the remnant of Aram ceased to exist.
The Assyrian homeland encompasses areas of what are now northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and northeastern Syria. The ruins of Ninevah, the capital of ancient Assyria, can be found in Mosul, a city in modern Iraq. Damascus, the capital of Syria, was originally the capital of Aram.