The Euphrates <<yoo FRAY teez>> River is the longest river in southwestern Asia. It is about 1,700 miles (2,736 kilometers) long. It forms part of the historic Tigris-Euphrates river system. The Euphrates rises in a mountainous area of eastern Turkey and flows southwest through the country into Syria. In Syria, it turns southeast and gradually descends until it reaches low, flat land. After leaving Syria, the Euphrates cuts across Iraq. At the town of Al Qurnah, Iraq, it joins the Tigris, forming a river called the Shatt al Arab, which flows into the Persian Gulf.
The world’s first civilization developed in the region around the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. This advanced culture arose in Sumer about 3500 B.C. Babylonia and other early civilizations also thrived in this region. The ruins of the famous ancient city of Babylon lie along the Euphrates.
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