Damascus is a major Arabian city located 50 miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea.
Damascus was founded early in the second millenium BC, and was fought over several times between Pharaonic Egypt and the Hittite Empire in the 13th century BC. Damascus was conquered by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, and after Alexander's death was fought over between the successors of King Ptolomy of Egypt and King Seluceus of Babylonia. The Roman general Pompey conquered the city in 64 BC and made Syria a Roman province.
Damascus remained under Roman rule until its conquest by the Muslim general Khalid ibn al-Walid in 635. When the Governor of Syria, Mu'awiya, became Caliph in 661, he made Damascus the capital of the Muslim Empire. Damascus remained the imperial capital until the fall of the Ummayad dynasty in 750. The new Abbasid dynasty moved the capital to Baghdad.
The Ottoman Turks took Damascus in 1516, and the city remained under the Ottoman Empire for the next four centuries. On 5 August 1939, the Bedouin leader Abdul el Sallah launched the Arab Revolt from Damascus. El Sallah allied himself with the Germanic Confederation, while the Ottoman government sought help from the British. British and German forces clashed near Damascus on 30 September, marking the start of the Global War. The combined Arab-German army regained control of Damascus in October, and by the end of the year German forces had taken Alexandria and the Victoria Canal, while the Arabs drove the Turks from Arabia and established an independent Arabian state with its capital at Jerusalem.