Russia, Ukraine, Israel offer aid to Turkey after earthquake near Syrian border

Material damage in Turkey after earthquake measuring 7.4 on the open Richter scale near Syrian border – Europa Press/Contacto/Depo Photos

The governments of Russia, Ukraine and Israel have offered aid to Turkey on Monday following the death of more than 280 people from an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the open Richter scale near the Syrian border, where more than 300 people have died, although only Moscow has spoken out about possible support for Damascus in the aftermath of the quake.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has conveyed his «deep condolences» to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the «great loss of life and massive destruction caused by the powerful earthquake», according to a statement published by the Kremlin through its website.

Thus, he stressed that Russia «is ready to give all necessary assistance» to the Turkish authorities, a message he has also conveyed to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, to whom he has also communicated his «sincere condolences» for the «tragic consequences» of the earthquake.

For his part, the president of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, has sent Erdogan his «sincere condolences» for the earthquake in the south of the country. «I wish a speedy recovery to all victims. In these difficult moments, we will be close to the Turkish people. We are ready to give the necessary help to overcome the consequences of this disaster,» he has noted on his account on the social network Twitter.

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, has expressed his «deep regret» for the «serious earthquake». «Our hearts go out to the victims and we wish the injured a speedy recovery. I have instructed the Israeli Foreign Ministry to lead a rapid aid program to Turkey to deal with this grave disaster,» he said.

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that he has ordered the army to «prepare to provide emergency assistance» and noted that «the security forces are prepared to provide all necessary assistance», while indicating that Israeli rescue teams «have accumulated a lot of experience over the years in disaster areas and in the mission of saving lives».

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has also conveyed his condolences to Erdogan in the face of this «huge disaster.» «The State of Israel is always ready to help in any way possible. Our hearts go out to the bereaved families and the Turkish people at this painful time,» he said on his Twitter account.

So far, more than 280 dead and 2,300 wounded have been confirmed in Turkey, as well as about 240 dead and 640 wounded in areas of Syria controlled by the authorities. To these figures must be added more than 90 dead and 500 wounded in the areas controlled by the rebels in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, as detailed in statements to the German news agency DPA by the president of the Syrian American Medical Society, Basel Termanini.