Damascus (Arabic:دمشقDimashq IPA:[ˈdiːmaːʃq]) is the capital and the second-largest city of Syria after Aleppo. It is commonly known in Syria as ash-Sham (Arabic:الشامash-Shām) and nicknamed as the City of Jasmine (Arabic:مدينة الياسمينMadīnat al-Yāsmīn). In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural and religious center of the Levant. The city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 as of 2009.
Located in southwestern Syria, Damascus is the center of a large metropolitan area of 2.6 million people (2004). Geographically embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range 80 kilometres (50mi) inland from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean on a plateau 680 metres (2,230ft) above sea-level, Damascus experiences a semi-arid climate because of the rain shadow effect. The Barada River flows through Damascus.
First settled in the second millennium BC, it was chosen as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate from 661 to 750. After the victory of the Abbasid dynasty, the seat of Islamic power was moved to Baghdad. Damascus saw a political decline throughout the Abbasid era, only to regain significant importance in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods. During Ottoman rule, the city decayed while maintaining a certain cultural prestige. Today, it is the seat of the central government and all of the government ministries.
Israeli police scuffle with a Palestinian woman outside of the DamascusGate to the Old City of Jerusalem Tuesday, May 11, 2021 ... An Israeli police officer gestures to a Palestinian woman and her daughter, frightened by clashes outside of the Damascus Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
Palestinians run from stun grenades fired by Israeli police officers during clashes at DamascusGate just outside Jerusalem's Old City, Saturday, May 8, 2021 ... Israeli police officers aims his rifle during clashes with Palestinians near Damascus Gate just outside Jerusalem's Old City, Sunday, May 9, 2021.
One Israeli police officer was hurt, according to Israeli police ...Saturday night's clashes left 90 Palestinians injured, including this woman who was hurt while protesting near Jerusalem's DamascusGate. One Israeli police officer was also injured, according to police ... An Israeli police officer knees a protester in the face.
... water cannon vehicles, mounted officers, and other means ... Israeli police said it was forced to operate after Palestinians who gathered near the Old City's DamascusGate began throwing stones, bottles, fireworks, and explosives at police officers.