UAE ends Turkey-Syria earthquake aid operation

Five-month Operation Gallant Knight 2 helped hundreds of thousands of survivors

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The UAE has ended its aid operation to assist people in Syria and Turkey affected by the earthquake and aftershocks that shook the region in February.

Five months on, the UAE's Operation Gallant Knight 2 – launched by the Joint Operations Command of the Ministry of Defence in response to the disaster – has drawn to a close, the ministry announced.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed more than 50,000 people and 100,000 were injured.

The UAE was one of the first countries to respond to the disaster with aid.

It ranks among the country's most successful joint endeavours conducted by domestic entities
Ministry of Defence

President Sheikh Mohamed directed the launch of Operation Gallant Knight 2 on February 6 to supply humanitarian and medical aid.

It established an air bridge to transport urgent relief supplies, medical items and equipment through 260 flights.

The Gallant Knight operation included the participation of the UAE Armed Forces, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and Emirates Red Crescent (ERC).

The UAE also sent a search and rescue team to look for survivors under the rubble of collapsed buildings. The team spent nearly 240 hours working in rescue operations involving 42 people. A total of 13,463 medical cases were treated.

The UAE donated search and rescue equipment to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and trained civil defence staff in Latakia.

Some of the victims were flown to the UAE for specialist treatment.

Weeks after the quake hit, Sheikha Fatima, Mother of the Nation, directed authorities in the UAE to arrange treatment for some of those injured in Syria, including children, in UAE hospitals.

Humanitarian aid

The ERC led the UAE's aid delivery of food parcels, drugs and medical supplies to earthquake victims and established a temporary shelter with 50 tents for those affected.

The delegation accompanying the ERC team donated medical supplies and drugs to the Syrian Ministry of Health and the UAE also provided Syria with 10 ambulances equipped with the latest technology.

The Gallant Knight operation provided 2,700 daily meals during Ramadan in Latakia, Aleppo, Hama and Homs governorates in Syria, as well as 19,371 Ramadan Ration parcels in Latakia for 96,855 people, along with 4,000 Ramadan parcels daily, reaching 500,000 people.

During Eid Al Fitr, the initiative donated clothes to 4,290 families in four governorates, helping 17,160 Syrians and distributing 20,000 bags of rice and flour in four governorates.

During Eid Al Adha, the ERC distributed 2,000 pieces of sacrificial meat in Latakia, Aleppo, Hama and Homs, which assisted 100,000 families.

At the end of the operation, the Ministry of Defence said 15,164 tonnes of aid were delivered, which included 6,912 tonnes of urgent aid materials, including tents, basic food and medicine and 8,252 tonnes of humanitarian aid transported through four cargo ships.

In addition, the operation helped set up the construction of 1,500 private homes.

The ministry described Gallant Knight as one of the most successful such operations the UAE had undertaken.

"The operation's goal was to aid our affected brethren and friends during the Turkey and Syria earthquake," it said.

"It ranks among the country's most successful joint endeavours conducted by domestic entities."

Updated: July 13, 2023, 8:36 AM