Homs (UK: /hɒms/ HOMSS, US: /hɔːms, hɔːmz, hʊms/ HAWMSS, HAWMZ, HUUMSS; Arabic: حِمْص / ALA-LC: Ḥimṣ [ħɪmsˤ]; Levantine Arabic: حُمْص / Ḥumṣ [ħɔmsˤ]), known in pre-Islamic Syria as Emesa (/ˈɛməsə/ EM-ə-sə; Ancient Greek: Ἔμεσα, romanized: Émesa), is a city in western Syria and the capital of the Homs Governorate. It is 501 metres (1,644 ft) above sea level and is located 162 kilometres (101 mi) north of Damascus. Located on the Orontes River, Homs is also the central link between the interior cities and the Mediterranean coast.