Syria is a country in the middle east with almost 20 million inhabitants. Neighboring countries are Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon. The republic borders the Mediterranean Sea. The landscape of Syria is defined by mountains, desert areas, rugged steppes and a fertile coastal strip along the Mediterranean Sea. The country is crossed by major rivers such as the Orontes and the Euphrates. There is a desert climate inland and a Mediterranean climate on the coast. The capital Damascus has 1.6 million inhabitants and is the oldest inhabited city in the world. Sights are the old center, the tomb of General Saladin, the house of Ananias, the Ommajjaden mosque and the Azam palace. Other cities are Aleppo and Homs, with the tomb of Khalid ibn Walid. Furthermore Izra ', Ar-Raqqah, Hama, Ma`loula, Saydnaya and modern port city Latakia. The cities of Bosra and Palmyra are on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of their ruins, the cities of Damascus and Aleppo because of their old historic center. The crusader castles Qalat Salah El-Din and Krak des Chevaliers are also on the list. Other places of interest are the many archaeological sites, the crusader fortresses, monasteries, Arab castles and the mosque of Aleppo, the Saida Zeinab mosque and the silk route.

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