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Britain boosts aid for Syria, Turkey after earthquakes

by Uma
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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is committing additional funding – at least 3 million pounds ($3.65 million) – to support search and rescue operations and emergency relief in Syria after earthquakes in the region, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

“Given the magnitude of the earthquakes and difficulties in accessing affected areas in North West Syria, the UK will be providing The White Helmets with additional funding to aid their major search-and-rescue operations,” it said in a statement.

Separately, the defence ministry said late on Thursday it would send a field hospital, critical care air support team and aircraft to Turkey help provide emergency care treatment to survivors of the earthquake there.

Its Hercules C130 military aircraft will be used to move casualties within Turkey, the ministry said.

“The UK stands ready to assist our close allies and friends during this terrible time,” defence minister Ben Wallace said. “We will keep options open for further assistance as requested.”

Britain has dispatched other support to the region this week, including items such as tents and blankets and 76 search-and-rescue specialists and equipment.

($1 = 0.8222 pounds)


(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar and William James; editing by Kate Holton and Mark Heinrich)