First Saudi plane carrying aid lands in Syria’s Aleppo

Saudi Foreign Minister says it is 'absolutely necessary' aid reaches all earthquake-hit regions of Turkey and Syria

A Saudi relief plane set to travel to Aleppo International Airport. SPA
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A Saudi plane loaded with 35 tonnes of aid arrived at Syria’s Aleppo airport on Tuesday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The aid included food, medical aid and shelter materials, state media reported.

Saudi Arabia will continue sending more relief planes to Aleppo, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) told The National.

Saudi relief lorries reached the north-western Syrian city of Jindires on Monday to help the people afflicted by the earthquake.

The relief supplies were distributed in northern Syria, to areas including Jindires, Kafr Takharim, Atarib, Bulbul, Rajo, Atmeh, Sarmada and Dar Azza.

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan on Monday said that earthquake survivors in Turkey and Syria deserve an adequate response from everyone and that the kingdom had responded quickly by sending aid and relief teams.

Prince Faisal made the remarks during a joint press conference with EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell in Brussels on Monday.

“We encourage all parties to secure the arrival of aid to all regions of Syria. We discussed this issue in our bilateral meeting and Josep Borrell also emphasised this. We are of the view that it is absolutely necessary that aid shall reach all earthquake-hit regions of Turkey and Syria,” he said.

A total of eight Saudi relief planes have been sent so far, with food and accommodation supplies including tents, blankets, rugs, in addition to medical supplies.

Eleven relief lorries of KSrelief aid, carrying 104 tonnes of food and shelter supplies were sent across the Turkish-Syrian border on Saturday through a crossing point in the Afrin region.

“We must ensure that the huge humanitarian suffering that afflicted the Syrian people must be lifted and therefore we are fully supporting as much as we can to deliver aid to all parts of Syria,” Prince Faisal said.

The Saudi relief air bridge was also launched by KSrelief to help earthquake-affected people in Syria and Turkey by the order of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

A relief worker from Saudi Arabia told The National there are 2,000 tents in a camp KSrelief has established, equipped to accommodate the earthquake survivors in northern Syria.

Prince Faisal met Mr Borrell during his official visit to the EU on Monday.

During the meeting, they also spoke about the importance of international peace and security and discussed the Iranian nuclear programme, along with international and regional developments in this regard.

The head of Saudi Arabia's mission to the EU, ambassador Saad Alarify, and the Director General of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulrahman Al Dawood, also attended the meeting.

Updated: February 14, 2023, 12:06 PM