Russia says over 300 troops sent to Syria to help with earthquake relief

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More than 300 Russian servicemen and 60 units of special military equipment are helping Syria in its response to a devastating earthquake that struck more than a week ago, Russia’s defense ministry said on Tuesday.

The 7.8 magnitude Feb. 6 quake and aftershocks killed more than 37,000 in Turkey and Syria and the death toll looked set to keep rising with almost no chances of rescuers finding any more survivors in the rubble.


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“Servicemen of the Russian group of forces continue to carry out activities to clear rubble and eliminate the consequences of earthquakes,” the defense ministry said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app, referring to Russian forces stationed in Syria.

“More than 300 servicemen and 60 units of military and special equipment have been involved in the work.”

Food packages and disinfectants as well as other essentials had also been delivered to humanitarian aid points in the northwestern city of Aleppo, the ministry added.

The Kremlin said on Monday that it was in contact with Syrian authorities over providing relief to areas affected.

Russia, which backs Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, has been a dominant military force in Syria since launching air strikes and ground operations there in 2015. It further asserted its presence after the United States pulled out its forces in 2019.

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