Saudi plane carrying aid lands in Syria, first in decade

Tuesday saw the first landing of a Saudi Arabian plane providing supplies to earthquake-stricken Syria in Aleppo in more than a decade of war, a transport ministry spokesman told AFP.

Since a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that slammed the war-torn nation and neighboring Turkey, killing more than 35,000 people, planeloads of Western assistance have poured in Syria.

“This is the first plane from Saudi Arabia to land on Syrian territory in more than 10 years,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the press.

According to state news agency SANA, the Saudi plane arrived at Aleppo International Airport with 35 tonnes of food aid.

In February 2012, the final such flight touched down in Syria.

The fact that President Bashar al-administration Assad’s is still despised in the West after more than ten years of conflict makes it more difficult for the international community to help those affected by the earthquake.

Some Arab nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, cut ties with Syria after the Arab League suspended it in 2011.

In 2012, Saudi Arabia severed ties with President Bashar al-administration Assad’s and supported rebels early in the conflict, which is now approaching its 12th year.

Both rebel-held and government-controlled regions of the nation would get assistance, according to Riyadh.

A representative from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre had told AFP that there had been no direct contact with the Assad government.

According to the government and rescue agencies operating in the rebel-held northwest of the country, the earthquake has claimed more than 3,600 lives in Syria alone.

According to the World Health Organization, the province of Aleppo, which is largely under government control, was severely affected, leaving more than 200,000 people homeless.

Nearly 500,000 people have died and been displaced from their homes in Syria as a result of the fighting there since 2011, with many of them seeking safety in Turkey.

The bulk of the population was in need of humanitarian aid even before Monday’s earthquake. The most recent catastrophe has just made things worse.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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