Earthquake: Syrian President thanks his “Arab brothers” for their help

Earthquake: Syrian President Thanks His « Arab Brothers » for their help


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday thanked his “Arab brothers” for the assistance provided after the deadly earthquake that prompted several countries in the region to break years of diplomatic silence with Damascus.< /strong> 

The February 6 earthquake killed nearly 40,000 people in Turkey and neighboring Syria.

Mr. Assad has received calls from leaders of several Arab countries, some of which had severed ties with the Syrian regime more than a decade ago due to the suppression of the 2011 popular uprising which degenerated into civil war.


Some 120 aid-laden planes also landed at airports across the country, around half of them from the United Arab Emirates, the first Gulf country to restore relations with Damascus by reopening its embassy in 2018.

“We cannot fail to express our thanks to all the countries that have stood by our side since the first hours of the disaster among our Arab brothers and friends,” the Syrian president said in a televised speech on Thursday.

“Their assistance had a major impact on strengthening our ability to cope with the difficult conditions during these critical hours,” he continued.

At least 3,600 Syrians died in the quake that struck nearly twelve years after the start of the civil war that left nearly half a million dead, ravaged infrastructure and displaced millions.

< p>“The scale of the disaster and the tasks before us greatly exceed the means available,” Mr. Assad said, adding that the country would still face enormous social and economic challenges.

Bashar al-Assad found himself diplomatically isolated after the start of the civil war, especially among Arab countries, and in late 2011 Syria was expelled from the Arab League.

Aid efforts to this country were led by Abu Dhabi, which helped to break its isolation. Several other Arab countries have outlined an opening towards Damascus after the earthquake.

Saudi Arabia has sent two planes carrying aid to Syria since Tuesday, after a suspension of flights for more than ten years.

Bashar al-Assad also met with the foreign ministers of the Emirates and Jordan in Damascus, and received calls from the leaders of Egypt, Bahrain and Jordan.< /p>