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Tuesday, 14 February 2023

Turkey-Syria earthquake death toll tops 36,000 as aides continue

  • The death toll from last week’s earthquakes has topped 36,000, with 31,643 people killed in Turkey and a further 4,614 dead in Syria.

  • Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has agreed to let the United Nations deliver aid to rebel-held parts of northwest Syria through two more border crossings from Turkey.

More than 300 Russian servicemen and 60 units of special military equipment are helping Syria in its response to last week’s earthquakes, Russia’s defence ministry said.

“Servicemen of the Russian group of forces continue to carry out activities to clear rubble and eliminate the consequences of earthquakes,” the defence ministry said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app, referring to Russian forces stationed in Syria.

“More than 300 servicemen and 60 units of military and special equipment have been involved in the work.”

Food packages and disinfectants as well as other essentials had also been delivered to humanitarian aid points in the northwestern city of Aleppo, the ministry added.

Russia, which backs al-Assad, has been a dominant military force in Syria since launching air strikes and ground operations there in 2015. It further asserted its presence after the United States pulled out its forces in 2019.

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