also known as al-Alawiyeen Mountains
, both names refer to the Alawi sect which has traditionally lived there, and the Syrian official name, Coastal Mountain Range
; are a mountain range in northwestern Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....
running north-south, parallel to the coastal plain. Classically they were known as the Bargylus
and under the Hashashins were known as the Jabal Bahra
The mountains have an average width of 32 kilometres (19.9 mi), and their average peak elevation is just over 1,200 meters with the highest peak, Nabi Yunis, reaching 1562 metres (5,124.7 ft), east of Latakia
Latakia, or Latakiyah , is the principal port city of Syria, as well as the capital of the Latakia Governorate. In addition to serving as a port, the city is a manufacturing center for surrounding agricultural towns and villages...
. In the north the average height declines to 900 metres (2,952.8 ft), and to 600 metres (1,968.5 ft) in the south.
The western slopes catch moisture-laden winds from the Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...
and are thus more fertile and more heavily populated than the eastern slopes. The Orontes River
The Orontes or ‘Āṣī is a river of Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.It was anciently the chief river of the Levant, also called Draco, Typhon and Axius...
flows north along side the range on its eastern verge in the Ghab valley, a 64 kilometres (39.8 mi) longitudinal trench, and then around the northern edge of the range to flow into the Mediterranean. South of Masyaf
Masyaf is a city in Syria, in the Hama Governorate, notable for its large medieval castle.It was used by Hashashins as their headquarters after the destruction of Alamut....
there is a large northeast-southwest strike-slip fault which separates An-Nusayriyah Mountain from the coastal Lebanon Mountains and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains of Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...
, in a feature known as the Homs Gap.