What is the terrain and geography like in Syria?
The largest cities of Syria, Damascus, Homs, and Aleppo, are located on the eastern side of the mountain spine created by the rift. Further to the east is the Syrian Desert with its ancient oasis-city, Palmyra. In the northeast, the Anatolian Mountains serve as a natural barrier between Syria and Turkey and between Syria and Iraq. Here is found the Jazira Valley, watered by the Euphrates River, which is the grain belt of Syria. The oil fields of Syria are also in this area.
Damascus, the capital and one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, rests at about 700 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level on the Barada River in the southwestern section of the country.
There are four seasons in Damascus, with spring, winter, and fall generally lasting 8 to 12 weeks apiece. Summers can be long, dry, and hot. Short winters can be cold and rainy, with occasional snow. Annual rainfall in Damascus averages 81.6 millimeters (3.21 inches.) Temperatures in Damascus range from lows 0 °C (32 °F) at night to highs of 20 °C (68 °F during the day in the winter, and in the summer from 16 °C (60 °F) to 38 °C (100 °F). Though snow falls infrequently in Damascus, it does snow in the mountains near the city, and some roads are impassible during these storms.