Arabic: ﺣﻠﺐ /
ALA-LC: Ḥalab, IPA:
[ˈħalab]) is a city in
Syria, serving as the capital of the
Aleppo Governorate, the most populous
 With an official population of 2,132,100 (2004 census), Aleppo was the largest Syrian city before the
Syrian Civil War; however, now Aleppo is likely the second-largest city in Syria after the capital
Aleppo is an ancient city, and one of
the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world; it may have been inhabited since the 6th millennium BC.
 Excavations at Tell as-Sawda and Tell al-Ansari, just south of the
old city of Aleppo, show that the area was occupied by
Amorites since at least the latter part of the 3rd millennium BC;
 and this is also when Aleppo is first mentioned in
cuneiform tablets unearthed in
Mesopotamia, in which it is a part of the Amorite state of
Yamhad, and noted for its commercial and military proficiency.
 Such a long history is attributed to its strategic location as a trading center midway between the
Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia (i.e. modern
For centuries, Aleppo was the largest city in the
Syrian region, and the
Ottoman Empire's third-largest after
 It was also one of the largest cities in the
Levant before the advent of the Syrian Civil War.
 The city's significance in history has been its location at one end of the
Silk Road, which passed through central Asia and Mesopotamia. When the
Suez Canal was inaugurated in 1869, trade was diverted to sea and Aleppo began its slow decline. At the
fall of the Ottoman Empire after
World War I, Aleppo ceded its northern hinterland to modern Turkey, as well as the important
railway connecting it to Mosul. In the 1940s, it lost its main access to the sea,
İskenderun, also to Turkey. Finally, the isolation of Syria in the past few decades further exacerbated the situation. This decline may have helped to preserve the old city of Aleppo, its medieval architecture and traditional heritage. It won the title of the "Islamic Capital of Culture 2006", and has had a wave of successful restorations of its historic landmarks.
Battle of Aleppo, the city suffered massive destruction,
 and has been the worst-hit city in the Syrian Civil War.
 In December 2016, the Syrian government achieved full control of Aleppo following a successful offensive.