Aid trucks enter northern Syria through two border crossings
A convoy of 14 trucks has crossed from Turkey into northwestern Syria through the Bab al-Hawa and Bab al-Salama border crossings in the first earthquake-related aid convoy, a local official told Enab Baladi on Friday.
The trucks that entered included relief and food materials, and the source was from the United Nations and relief organizations, with Saudi aid trucks expected to arrive within the next few hours.
Mazen Alloush, Press Officer at the Bab al-Hawa crossing, told Enab Baladi that a UN convoy consisting of 14 trucks loaded with various relief materials and supplies, including tents, blankets, foam mattresses, insulating materials, hygiene materials, and food baskets entered northern Syria through the Bab al-Hawa crossing.
According to promises from the Turkish side at the crossing and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Alloush assured that this convoy is an initial response to the afflicted people of northern Syria, and it will be followed by larger convoys that will be more focused on the needs of those affected by the earthquake.
In addition to the UN convoy, several aid convoys sent by Turkish charitable societies entered from yesterday evening until this morning via Bab al-Hawa. The convoys were loaded with heating materials, flour, clothes, foodstuffs, and tents.
The road to the Bab al-Hawa border crossing was obstructed for days following the earthquake due to road damage and debris from collapsed buildings. The UN spokesperson confirmed the convoy’s crossing into Syria to The Associated Press on Friday.
A convoy of six trucks containing shelter items crossed the Turkish border into northwestern Syria on Thursday, though it was intended to enter the rebel-held Syrian enclave before the earthquake, the AP reported.
The United Nations is not authorized to deliver aid to Syria through other border crossings under a UN Security Council resolution.
Waiting for the Saudi aid
Also on Friday, a convoy of trucks belonging to the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Qatari Red Crescent entered northern Syria via the Bab al-Salama border crossing with Turkey, journalist Hassan Qabso told Enab Baladi.
The trucks were loaded with relief materials only, according to Qabso.
Another aid convoy sent by Saudi Arabia will arrive during the next few hours, the exact content of which has not been identified.
The official Saudi News Agency (SPA) announced on Friday the departure of the fourth and fifth relief planes to help the earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey.
The two planes carry the Saudi search and rescue team with all the equipment it needs, including machinery, equipment, pumps, medical medicines, technical equipment, and other equipment.
The participating teams include the Saudi search and rescue team from the General Directorate of Civil Defense, a medical team from the Saudi Red Crescent Authority, and volunteer field teams of all specialties, according to the agency.
On Thursday, two Saudi planes arrived in Turkey, carrying relief materials, including food baskets, tents, shelter bags, blankets, and rugs, in addition to medical supplies.
The catastrophic 7.7-magnitude earthquake has killed more than 22,000 people in Turkey and Syria, as the possibility of finding more survivors is rapidly shrinking.
The death toll from the earthquake and the aftershocks in Turkey reached 19,388 on Friday, recording more than 1,509 aftershocks of varying intensity.
In the latest statistics issued by the Syria Civil Defense (SCD) teams, the death toll from the earthquake in northwestern Syria has risen to more than 2,037 deaths and more than 2,950 injured, with the number expected to increase “significantly” due to the presence of hundreds of families under the rubble and the lack of humanitarian support for ongoing relief work in the region.
In regime-held areas, the latest statistics of the regime’s health ministry showed that the death toll reached a total of 1,374 while 2,295 people have been injured.
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