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Turkiye to open 2 more border gates for quake aid into Syria: FM

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-02-09 09:13
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Damaged buildings and rescue operations are seen in the aftermath of the earthquake, in Aleppo, Syria Feb 7, 2023, in this screen grab taken from a social media video. [Photo/Agencies]

ANKARA - Turkiye is working to open two more border gates with Syria to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid to its neighbor which also suffers from massive earthquakes, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

"Cilvegozu border gate is open. We are working to open two more gates ... We also provide the necessary support for the aid to reach Syria," Cavusoglu told reporters at a joint news conference attended by Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay.

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the road leading to the Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing from Turkiye to northern Syria was damaged, and the aid delivery to the rebel-held northwest was temporarily disrupted.

The United Nations is preparing a convoy to cross into Syria, but that would likely require a new agreement with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, Dujarric added.

Bab al-Hawa, across Turkiye's Cilvegozu gate, is the only crossing through which UN aid is allowed into the area.

A magnitude-7.7 earthquake struck Turkiye's southern province of Kahramanmaras at 4:17 am local time (0117 GMT), followed by a magnitude-7.6 quake at 1:24 pm local time (1024 GMT) in the same province.

The death toll from Monday's devastating earthquakes in southern Turkiye and northern Syria has surpassed 12,000.

Many countries and global aid agencies are offering rescue teams and relief supplies to quake-hit regions in Turkiye and Syria.

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