The UAE is sending seven aid flights to help with search and rescue operations in Turkey and Syria, two of which will land in Damascus.Its operations in Turkey included the safe evacuation of several citizens, Maj Gen Saleh Al Ameri, Commander of Joint Operations at the Ministry of Defence, told local media.
The death toll from Monday’s earthquake, which left widespread devastation across the neighbouring countries, has reached more than 5,000.Thousands of buildings have been destroyed, with many people feared trapped under the rubble.
The airports are crowded with planes. In addition to that, the weather is very cold and there are risks of aftershocksMaj Gen Saleh Al Ameri, Commander of Joint Operations, Ministry of DefenceMaj Gen Al Ameri said three flights carrying search and rescue teams and medical equipment departed from the UAE on Monday — two landed in Adana and one in Gaziantep, marking the first plane to land in the city.
The flights included search and rescue teams from the Ministry of Interior, Abu Dhabi Police and Dubai Police, as well as a field hospital, which has been set up in Turkey as part of the UAE’s Operation Gallant Knight 2.
Maj Gen Al Ameri said the UAE’s rescue operations in Turkey will focus on Kahramanmaras, the earthquake’s epicentre and the city of Gaziantep, which is 80km away.“This morning, the two teams moved from the city of Adana to Gaziantep, which is 200 kms away,” he told Sky News Arabia.
“For Syria, the priority of aid identified by Syrian authorities are foodstuffs and tents, but we will also provide other support, with search and rescue teams as well as a field hospital on the way.”
Yesterday, as well as today, in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, a number of citizens were evacuated from the disaster area by planes of the Armed Forces, and they are, thank God, in good health.