Amid inhumane 'Sanctions Act', Aleppo residents dig out loved ones
So far, 290 casualties have been reported in Aleppo alone in a quake that claimed the lives of at least 1,712 in Syria.
Residents, soldiers, and rescuers in Syria's quake-stricken Aleppo have spent the past day and night looking for their loved ones, some who have died and some who are grasping for their lives while trapped under the rubble of thousands of collapsed buildings that were brought down by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake and its aftershocks, AFP reported on Tuesday.
Umm Ibrahim, a mother of seven and a resident of Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr, has been waiting since Monday for rescuers to find her children, with high hopes that some may still be alive.
"I haven't been able to eat or drink," she told AFP. "How could I, when my children are hungry underground?"
"I'm waiting for the rescuers to free my children... I will leave it to God," she added.
Aleppo, a city that has once been renowned as Syria's commercial hub, has been classified as Syria's most damaged by the earthquake.
The Aleppo municipality said they were facing extreme difficulty when it came to providing proper equipment and manpower due to the amount of damage dealt to the governorate.
Since the early hours of the morning, the Aleppo governorate has called on the people, private sector companies, and contractors, who have vehicles, to support and help remove the rubble, especially in the densely populated neighborhoods.
The Engineers Syndicate also called on all of its members to stay in the Syndicate building in order to carry out their national duty and help people in need.
So far, 290 victims have been reported dead in Aleppo alone in a quake that claimed the lives of at least 1,712 in Syria.
Combined with Turkey's death toll, the total number goes as high as 6,200 people.
About 126 shelters have been opened for the victims who have been left homeless by the powerful earthquake.
"This earthquake is more crushing than the war," said Umm Mohammed who is also searching for missing relatives, as quoted by AFP. "We looked everywhere, including in hospitals, but we couldn't find them."
Reporters also witnessed bodies being placed in ice-cream trucks and minivans, on their way to being buried.
Read more: Death toll from earthquake tops 5,100 in Turkey, Syria
Among the countries that have sent aid to Syria so far include Russia, Lebanon, Iran, Algeria, Iraq, and Tunisia, all of whom are either under sanctions or going through economic turmoil.
Russia reportedly sent troops and doctors from its Hmeimim airbase in the country to assist with the earthquake's aftermath.
#Iran’s aid to #Syria pic.twitter.com/6oM39tDsW1— Aslam Bava 🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇵🇸🇵🇸🇵🇸🇶🇦🇶🇦🇶🇦 (@AslamBava) February 7, 2023
Iran has likewise defied western sanctions by loading air planes with relief supplies and a team of rescuers. Another team is reportedly underway.
Thank you for your humanity!!! pic.twitter.com/GTu2lC8bvJ— Kevork Almassian🇸🇾🇦🇲 (@KevorkAlmassian) February 6, 2023
This is owed to the inhumane sanctions placed on Syria by western powers intended to weaken the Syrian government and subdue the nation to Western hegemony.
"The sanctions on Syria made the disaster all the worse," Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told Al Mayadeen on Tuesday. "The state is following up on the mobilization of aid domestically and abroad, and President Bashar Al-Assad requested that all the state's capabilities be employed in search and rescue operations."
"All of the hospitals in Syria have been asked to treat earthquake victims," Mekdad said, noting that Syria had asked through its ambassadors for international aid to confront the disaster it has been struck with.
"Many countries have sent aid to Syria, and we thank all the leaders who contacted us, sending their condolences and expressing their will to give us aid," the Syrian top diplomat told Al Mayadeen. "The situation is very hard, and regardless of the amount of aid sent to Syria, it needs much more."
"Aid from Europe does not need a request and bureaucracy, as humanitarian aid is not subject to sanctions," Mekdad explained. "Humanitarian aid is not subject to sanctions in accordance with international laws, so this is not an excuse."
Read more: Russia denies asking 'Israel' to help Syria - reports