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Gulf countries rush earthquake aid to Turkey, Syria

Countries in the Gulf have announced aid for Turkey and Syria after Monday's devastating earthquakes.
This aerial view shows residents helped by bulldozers, searching for victims and survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings, following an earthquake in the town of Sarmada in the countryside of the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, early on February 6, 2023. Over 1,500 people have been killed in the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria. (Photo by MUHAMMAD HAJ KADOUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Some Gulf countries have sent rescue teams and urgently needed aid to Turkey and Syria after two massive earthquakes devastated the region within a 12-hour period, killing thousands.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Jordan announced that they will send aid and rescue teams to both affected countries, where winter temperatures are dropping.

The Turkish Presidency announced on Monday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman held a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The UAE’s government news agency said that President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will dispatch search and rescue teams and establish field hospitals in Turkey, while sending urgent relief supplies and aid to the hardest-hit areas of Syria. 

The UAE president made calls to his Syrian and Turkish counterparts Bashar al-Assad and Erdogan. 

رئيس الدولة يوجه قيادة العمليات المشتركة ببدء عملية"#الفارس_الشهم2 " لدعم الشعبين السوري والتركي#وام

— وكالة أنباء الإمارات (@wamnews) February 6, 2023

Kuwait and Qatar said they too will send aid and medical equipment by air to Turkey, but did not mention similar efforts for Syria. 

Kuwait stated that firefighting and military teams will participate in addition to other government groups. 

Qatar said that it will set up field hospitals with relief tents and winter supplies and that members of its internal security force will bring search and rescue equipment.  

Bahrain and Oman issued condolences to the presidents of Syria and Turkey. 

Major earthquakes killed more than 1,700 people and injured thousands in Turkey and northwest Syria on Monday, with a 7.8 magnitude quake just before sunrise and another 7.7 quake in the early afternoon. 

The earthquakes leveled homes and infrastructure and grave economic impact are expected, especially in parts of Syria already devastated by years of war. 


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