Meaning of ORONTES RIVER in English

Arabic Nahr Al-'asi, river in southwestern Asia, draining a large part of the northern Levant into the Mediterranean Sea. From its source in Al-Biqa' (i.e., the Bekaa Valley) of central Lebanon, the river flows northward between the parallel ranges of the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains into Syria, where it has been dammed to form Hims Lake. Northwest of Hamah the Orontes crosses the fertile Al-Ghab, once a swampy depression, and enters Turkey, where it bends westward and empties into the sea near Samandag. Largely unnavigable for most of its 250-mile (400-kilometre) length, it is, nonetheless, an important source of irrigation water, especially between Homs and Hamah and in Al-Ghab. Major tributaries of the Orontes include the Kura Su and the Odi Meidani. Homs, Hamah, and the ancient Greek city of Antioch (Antakya) are the largest riparian settlements.

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