Homs, or Hims, Syria, one of the nation's largest cities and the capital of Homs province. It is on the Orontes River in west-central Syria, north of Damascus near the Lebanese border. Homs serves as a market center for a productive agricultural area. Industries include food processing and the making of handicraft items and petroleum products. Several modern paved roads, a railway, and two major petroleum pipelines converge on the city. The chief landmark is the Great Mosque. A branch of the National Library is here. Homs, called Emesa in ancient times, dates to 1400 B.C. or earlier.

Population: 518,000.