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(hômz, hôms) or


(hĭms), city (1995 est. pop. 455,000), capital of Homs governorate, W central Syria, on the Orontes River. A commercial center located in a fertile plain where wheat, grapes, fruit, and vegetables are grown, Homs has historically produced such manufactures include refined petroleum, flour, fertilizer, processed foods, handicrafts, and silk, cotton, and woolen textiles, but the Syrian civil war in the 2010s destroyed much of the city's economy. Homs also is a road and rail junction and has an oil refinery. The city has a university.

In ancient times Homs, then called Emesa, was the site of a great temple to Baal (or Helios-Baal), the sungod. Emesa came into startling prominence in the early 3d cent. A.D. when a priest of the temple became Roman emperor as HeliogabalusHeliogabalus
or Elagabalus
, c.205–222, Roman emperor (218–22). He was a priest of the local sun god, Elagabalus, at Emesa and was named Varius Avitus Bassianus.
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, or Elagabalus. AurelianAurelian
(Lucius Domitius Aurelianus) , c.212–275, Roman emperor (270–75). Rising in the ranks, he became consul under Valerian. He succeeded Claudius II, whose victory over the Goths had begun the territorial rehabilitation of the empire.
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 defeated the forces of ZenobiaZenobia
, d. after 272, queen of Palmyra. She was of Arab stock and was the wife of Septimius Odenathus. He was murdered, probably through her contrivance, and she obtained rule of his lands in the name of her son.
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 of Palmyra there in 272.

In 636, Muslim Arabs took the town, which became known as Homs. The Arab general KhalidKhalid
(Khalid ibn al-Walid), d. 642, Arab warrior. He assisted the Meccans in attacking (625) Muhammad and the inhabitants of Medina after the battle of Badr. Khalid and the Meccans were victorious in the battle of Ohud but did not follow up their victory.
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 died there in 642; a shrine and mosque in his honor were erected in 1908. Homs was part of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th cent. until after World War I, when it became part of the French League of Nations mandate. In 2011, Homs was a center of protest against President Bashar al-AssadAssad, Bashar al-
, 1965–, Syrian political leader, son of Hafez al-Assad. A medical doctor, he left Syria (1992) for an ophthamology residency in London when his elder brother, Basil, his father's designated heir, was killed (1994) in an automobile accident.
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's rule, which elicited violent government suppression, and the city, including the mosque erected in Khalid's honor, was devastated by fighting during the subsequent civil war.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Hims), a city in western Syria, in the valley of the el-Asi River; administrative center of Hims Province. Population, 215,500 (1970). Horns, a railroad and highway junction, produces oil, mineral fertilizers, cement, textiles, and food products, including canned foods and dairy products. Petroleum pipelines from Iraq and the Karachuk oil fields in Syria pass through Horns on their way to the ports of Tartus and Baniyas. Petroleum products go by pipelines from Horns to Damascus, Aleppo, and Lata-kia. Fruits, grain, and animal products are also traded in Horns.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, Hums
a city in W Syria, near the Orontes River: important in Roman times as the capital of Phoenicia-Lebanesia. Pop.: 915 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In a relevant development last Friday, the Syrian Army and Air Force heavily pounded the military positions and movements of the ISIL terrorists in Eastern Badiyeh in Homs province, inflicting heavy losses on the remaining elements of the terrorist groups.
Government forces took full control of the heart of Homs on Thursday, after rebels in the Old City boarded buses and were transported to rebel-held territory to the north, the report said.
According to the deal, the rebels were taken a few kilometers north to the rebel-held towns of Talbiseh and Dar al-Kabira on the northern edge of Homs province.
Syrian army officers accompanied the rebel's buses, and the beginning of the evacuation was confirmed by Homs governor Talal Barazi.
Rebel-held central neighborhoods of Homs have been besieged by Syrian government forces for more than a year, causing widespread hunger
Weakened rebels, for whom Homs' collapse was only a matter of time, get a safe exit, while the government can save manpower and weapons and claim it was able to retake the last rebel bastions without blood.
The Syrian National Council declared Homs a "disaster area" and called for international protection for civilians and for sending Arab and international observers to the city.
Fierce fighting rocked Homs at the weekend, with activists reporting that more than 30 people were killed in skirmishes between Christians, Sunni Muslims and Alawites from President Bashar Al-Assad's minority community.
Curator of Homs Museum Lubaba al-Ali said these items consist of a number of medium-sized pots, a large storage pot, a lion statue, a bronze staye, limestone weights, clay lanterns, bone spindles, two seals (one bearing Egyptian hieroglyphs and the other dating back to the ottoman era, limestone fragments from a mosaic, and a collection of Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic coins.
Meantime, the Syrian Army and Air Force also pounded the ISIL's movements in Badiyeh al-Sukhna, al-Moizaleh Dam and Wadi Abyaz Dam in Eastern Homs, inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists.
Summary: Syria's government and rebels agreed to a cease-fire Friday in the city of Homs aimed at allowing hundreds of fighters holed up in its old quarters to evacuate, a move that would surrender almost total control of the city once known as the "capital of the revolution" to President Bashar Assad's forces.
| DAMASCUS, Feb 19 (KUNA) -- Homs Governor Talal Barazi said Wednesday that 30 young men were evacuated from Homs city after their status have been reviewed and cleared.