Emirati team to leave Turkey after rescue efforts halted

Turkish officials announced the end of search and rescue operations on Monday

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The UAE's search and rescue mission in Turkey has ended, officials announced on Monday.

After fourteen consecutive days of digging through rubble to find survivors in Kahramanmaras, Emirati rescuers are the last internationally classified team to leave Turkey, said news agency Wam.

The team rescued 10 people and recovered 26 bodies.

The decision to leave was made after the Turkish Emergency and Disaster Organisation announced the end of search and rescue operations in the country.

The Joint Operations Command of the Ministry of Defence launched Operation Gallant Knight/2 after the earthquake struck Turkey and neighbouring Syria on February 6.

As part of the operation, the UAE has continued to send aid to affected areas in both countries for eleven days, with the latest consignment leaving the Emirates on Sunday night.

A total of 76 cargo planes delivering 2,535 tonnes of relief products have flown to Syria, while 42 planes carrying 840 tonnes of aid have arrived in Turkey.

In total, 118 flights carrying 3,375 tonnes of food, medical supplies and shelter tents, have been sent as part of the operation.

On Saturday, the UAE's second field hospital in Turkey was set up after a 50-bed hospital was opened at Gaziantep Airport last week.

The Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Field Hospital in the Reyhanli district of Hatay is a 200-bed site with 20 intensive care beds, two operating rooms with full medical equipment, two intensive care units, a laboratory and a pharmacy.

Updated: February 20, 2023, 10:28 AM