First EU humanitarian aid bound for Syria arrives in Beirut
An aid shipment from the Italian government and the European Union arrives at the port of Beirut.
The shipment containing the first set of humanitarian aid for Syria has arrived from the European Union in the port of Beirut, as confirmed by the Syrian Red Crescent on Friday.
The Syrian Red Crescent posted a tweet saying: "Across the sea, an aid shipment from the Italian Government and the European Union arrived at the Port of Beirut in support of the earthquake response in Syria."
Across the see, an aid shipment from the Italian Government and the European Union arrived to the Port of Beirut in support to the #earthquake response in #Syria. The shipment will be delivered to the @SYRedCrescent cross-border pic.twitter.com/kPxxY7aBwZ— Syrian Red Crescent (@SYRedCrescent) February 17, 2023
The shipment is due to be delivered to Syria by the Lebanese Red Cross with the supervision of Italian Charge d'Affairs to Syria Massimiliano D'Antuono alongside Head of the European Commission Office for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Luigi Pandolfi.
Since the devastating earthquake struck northern Syria on February 6, humanitarian aid planes and rescue and relief teams continued to arrive in Syria, from multiple countries, mainly Arab, especially from Tunisia, Algeria, the UAE, Iraq, Lebanon, and others, as well as from China, Russia, and Iran.
Read more: First Hezbollah aid convoy arrives in Latakia, Syria
In the meantime, the US and European sanctions imposed on Syria hindered humanitarian response to the disaster, which caused massive destruction and claimed the lives of thousands. In the face of an international rush to send aid to the stricken areas in Turkey, the same international enthusiasm was absent in defying the US sanctions and pulling the Syrians out from under the rubble of the siege.
The Director of Civil Aviation in Syria, Basem Mansour, said the total number of planes that arrived at Syrian airports as of 10 am on Wednesday amounted to 112 planes.
The aid planes were distributed as follows: 34 from the UAE, 11 from Iraq, 10 from Libya, 7 from Algeria, 7 from Iran, 5 from the Sultanate of Oman, 4 from Kazakhstan, 3 from Egypt, Belarus, China, Russia, Jordan, Tunisia, and Armenia, 2 from Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, and the World Health Organization, and one plane from Bangladesh, Sudan, Chechnya, and Venezuela each.
'End the sanctions on Syria'
In a statement, 26 Arab parties called for lifting the sanctions on Syria and announced their absolute solidarity with the Syrian people and leadership
"We stand with all our capabilities with Arab Syria and steadfastness in facing the tragedy," the parties said in a statement.
The statement added, "We strongly condemn and denounce all arbitrary measures taken by America and its allies against the Syrian Arab people," calling on the United Nations and the international community to take swift and urgent measures to lift sanctions and provide aid.
Read more: Minimal Western aid to Syria, despite temporary lift of sanctions