Euphrates River, the largest river in western Asia. The Euphrates (Arabic, al-Furat; Turkish, Fırat) begins in east central Turkiye (Turkey) at the junction of the Kara Su (sometimes known as the Western Euphrates) and the Murat (sometimes known as the Eastern Euphrates).
It flows south to Syria and then southeast across Syria and Iraq. It ends above Basra, where it joins the Tigris to form the Shatt al-Arab. Its length from the Kara Su – Murat junction is about 2,100 miles (3,380 km). About 40% of the river basin is in Turkiye (Turkey), and 15% is in Syria. The remainder is in Iraq, where the alluvial floodplain of the Euphrates forms part of ancient Mesopotamia, the cradle of ancient civilization in the Middle East and the site of the ancient states of Sumeria, Babylonia, and Assyria.
The headwaters of the Euphrates rise in the Armenian plateau, where much of the precipitation falls as snow. The water supply of the river diminishes rapidly as it flows southward into the hills and plains of Syria. The head of the alluvial floodplain is near Hit, Iraq. For the next 460 miles (740 km), the river flows in a channel on top of the plain. Near its mouth the flow of the river is diverted into extensive marshes and lakes before it joins the Tigris.