The nation we now call Syria is actually fairly new. The land was part of the Ottoman Empire until Ottoman’s defeat in WWI. After the war, England and France carved out the modern map of the Middle East. Syria was created in 1920 and was put under the influence of France. It did not gain its independence until 1961. So even though it is in a region that we think of as ancient, the actual nation is only 58 years old.
Before we so quickly judge Syria, remember it took the United States even longer, 89 years, to finally figure things out and the death of 700,000 Americans in the Civil War.