Biden ‘deeply saddened’ by Turkey, Syria earthquake; pledges US aid

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US President Joe Biden said he was “deeply saddened” and promised his country’s assistance Monday after a major 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, killing nearly 1,800 people.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. I have directed my team to continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with Turkey and provide any and all needed assistance,” the president tweeted from his official account.

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“Our teams are deploying quickly to begin to support Turkish search and rescue efforts and address the needs of those injured and displaced by the earthquake,” he added in a statement later released by the White House.

The statement said Biden had called on US officials to reach out to their Turkish counterparts to coordinate on assistance, and that humanitarian groups supported by the United States were responding to the destruction in Syria.

“Today, our hearts and our deepest condolences are with all those who have lost precious loved ones, those who are injured, and those who saw their homes and businesses destroyed,” he said in the statement.

Read more: Another 7.5-magnitude earthquake hits southeast Turkey, felt in Lebanon

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