Syria is located in Southwestern Asia, north of the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Turkey on the north, Lebanon and Israel on the west, Iraq on the east, and Jordan on the south. It consists of mountain ranges in the west and inland a steppe area. In the east is the Syrian Desert and in the south is the Jabal al-Druze Range. The former is bisected by the Euphrates valley. A dam built in 1973 on the Euphrates created a reservoir named Lake Assad, the largest lake in Syria. The highest point in Syria is Mount Hermon on the Lebanese border. Between the humid Mediterranean coast and the arid desert regions lies a semiarid steppe zone extending across three-quarters of the country, which receives hot, dry winds blowing across the desert. Syria is extensively depleted, with 28 percent of the land arable, 4 percent dedicated to permanent crops, 46 percent utilized as meadows and pastures, and only 3 percent forest and woodland.
The Map of Syria is divided into fourteen governorates, or muhafazat. The governorates are divided into a total of sixty districts, or manatiq, which are further divided into sub-districts, or nawahi. The capital Damascus is the second largest city in Syria, and the metropolitan area is a governorate on its own. Aleppo in northern Syria is the largest city. Latakia along with Tartus are Syria's main ports on the Mediterranean.