Saturday, 1 April, 2023

First aid reaches Syria rebel-held areas since quake: border official

An aid convoy reached rebel-held northwestern Syria Thursday, the first since a devastating earthquake that has killed thousands, an official at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing told AFP.

The 7.8-magnitude quake early Monday has killed nearly 20,000 people in Turkey and war-ravaged Syria, according to officials and medics in the two countries, flattening entire neighbourhoods.

"The first UN aid convoy entered today," said Mazen Alloush, media officer at the crossing.

An AFP correspondent saw six trucks passing through the crossing from Turkey, carrying tents and hygiene products.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement the delivery includes blankets, mattresses, tents and "basic relief items... to cover the needs of at least 5,000 people".