Homs is a city in western Syria and the capital of the Homs Governorate. It is 501 metres (1,644 ft) above sea level and is located 162 kilometres (101 mi) north of Damascus. Located on the Orontes River, Homs is also the central link between the interior cities and the Mediterranean coast. Homs is a major industrial center, and with a population of at least 652,609 people, it is the third largest city in Syria after Aleppo to the north and the capital Damascus to the south. Its population reflects Syria's general religious diversity, composed mostly of Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims and Alawite and Christian minorities. The city boasts a number of historic mosques and churches and is close to the Krak des Chevaliers, a world heritage site. Homs did not emerge into the historical record until the 1st century BCE at the time of the Seleucids.
Contributions by Zozo2kx, Al Ameer son, and Asabbagh.