Syria sends 40 tons of humanitarian aid to Turkey's quake-hit Van
Syria has sent 40 tons of humanitarian aid to Turkey's Van province, which was struck by a powerful earthquake on Oct. 23, despite worsening relations between the two countries due to Turkey's opposition to an ongoing government crackdown in the neighboring country Todayszaman reported
The Anatolia news agency reported on Friday, quoting Syria's state-run news agency SANA, that Syrian minister responsible for the Syrian Red Crescent Society Joseph Sweid said a plane loaded with 40 tons of humanitarian aid was sent to Van on the orders of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The quake in Van left more than 600 people dead and more than 4,000 injured. The quake victims are still staying in tents and mobile homes set up in the province.
The aid that was delivered to Turkey in coordination with the Turkish Red Crescent Society reportedly includes 500 tents. Chairman of the Syrian Red Crescent Society, Abdul Rahman Attar, also said the materials sent are just initial aid and intended to show solidarity with the quake victims.
Turkey, once a close ally of the Syrian president, has gradually toughened its criticism of the Syrian regime for its brutal crackdown on anti-regime protests. Last month, Erdoğan slammed Assad, suggesting that Syria would be the next country on the Arab Spring list and that Assad would eventually be ousted by his own people.