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Syria, Land and Resources

Syria has an extreme east-to-west distance of about 830 km (about 515 mi) and an extreme north-to-south distance of about 740 km (about 460 mi). Along the Mediterranean coast, which is 193 km (120 mi) long, lies a narrow plain extending inland as far as 32 km (20 mi). Parallel to this plain is the Jabal an Nusayriyah, a narrow range of mountains and hills, south of which, along the border of Syria and Lebanon, are the Anti-Lebanon Mountains, the site of Mount Hermon, the highest point in the country at 2,814 m (9,232 ft). The Anti-Lebanon range tapers off into a hilly region called the Golan Heights (captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War) in the southwestern corner of Syria. Much of the rest of the country consists of a plateau, which is bisected in the northeast by the valley of the Euphrates (known in Syria as Al Furat) River. The plateau area north of the Euphrates is called the plain of Al Jazirah. The semicircular plateau area in the southeastern is in the Syrian Desert.

The Euphrates, the longest river in Syria, flows diagonally across the country from Turkey in the north to Iraq on the east. The second longest river, the Orontes, originates in the Lebanese portion of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains and flows north through western Syria to Turkey.

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