Ashgabat (Turkmen: Aşgabat; Ашгабат, pronounced [ɑʃʁɑˈbɑt], Persian: عشق آباد; Russian: Ашхабад), formerly named Poltoratsk (Russian: Полтора́цк, IPA: [pəltɐˈratsk]) between 1919 and 1927, is the capital and the largest city of Turkmenistan. It is situated between the Karakum Desert and the Kopet Dag mountain range in Central Asia. It is also near the Iran-Turkmenistan border.
The city was founded in 1881 on the basis of an Ahal Teke tribal village, and made the capital of the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic in 1924.
Damascus ( də-MASS-kəs; Arabic: دِمَشْق, romanized: Dimašq [diˈmaʃq], Syrian Arabic: [dɪˈmaʃʔ] is the capital of Syria; it became the country's largest city in the early 2010s, after the decrease in population of Aleppo during the struggle for the city. It's colloquially known in Syria as aš-Šām (الشَّام) and titled the"City of Jasmine" (مَدِينَة الْيَاسْمِين Madīnat al-Yāsmīn). Damascus is a major cultural centre of the Levant and the Arab world. The town had an estimated population of 2,079,000 as of 2019.
In south-western Syria, Damascus is the center of a large metropolitan area of 2.7 million people (2004). Embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range 80 kilometres (50 mi) inland from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean on a plateau 680 metres (2,230 feet ) above sea level, Damascus encounters a dry climate because of the rain shadow effect.
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