Russia asks Israel to send aid to Syria after devastating earthquake

Israel to provide support for earthquake victims in Syria, says Netanyahu, despite the two countries being in a state of war.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel has received a request to provide Syria with humanitarian aid, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed Monday afternoon, after a massive earthquake devastated southern Turkey and northwestern Syria.

The request reportedly was made by Russia on Syria’s behalf.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, the Israeli premier said that Israel will be sending rescue workers and emergency medical responders to Turkey to offer assistance in areas hit by the earthquake.

“There has been a very severe earthquake in Turkey – which was also felt in other areas – in the past day. In accordance with the request of the Turkish government, I have directed the dispatch of search and rescue, and medical teams.”

“This is what we do around the world and this is what we do in areas close to us.”

The prime minister briefly mentioned that Israel has also been asked to assist in Syria, and noted that Israel will comply with the request.

“Since a request was also received to do this – for the many who were injured in the earthquake in Syria, I have instructed that this be done as well.”

According to a report by Channel 13, the request for Israeli aid to Syria was delivered via Moscow.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu later confirmed that he had been asked “by a diplomatic official” to extend Israeli aid to Syria.

“I received a request from a diplomatic official to assist Syria, and I approved it.”

The earthquake, which struck at 3:17 a.m. in the Kahramanmaras province near the Syrian border, measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and was felt as far away as Romania, devastating towns on both sides of the border.

Dozens of powerful aftershocks were recorded Monday, including one which measured 7.5 on the Richter scale.

Over 1,800 fatalities have been reported thus far, including 1,121 in Turkey and at least 783 in Syria.

Thousands more have been injured, with hundreds more believed to be buried under buildings toppled by the quake.

“Because the debris removal efforts are continuing in many buildings in the earthquake zone, we do not know how high the number of dead and injured will rise,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, according to The Associated Press. “Hopefully, we will leave these disastrous days behind us in unity and solidarity as a country and a nation.”