The security forces of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) stand ready to provide immediate assistance to help survivors of the massive earthquakes that struck northern Syria along with Turkey, including providing relief support and sending rescue teams to the affected areas, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) General Command said in a press statement on Monday.
SDF General Command also gave solidarity and offered “condolences to the people in the cities of Marash [Kahramanmaraş] and Dilok [Gaziantep] and all areas in northern Kurdistan [south-east Turkey] that were stricken by the earthquake.”
On his Twitter account, SDF General Commander Mazloum Abdi wrote,
“We were very saddened to hear about the earthquake in North Kurdistan and Turkey. We offer our condolences to the people of the North, Turkey and the families of the victims and hope for the recovery of the injured. Our attention is on you and our hands are open to help.”
Noting it is time for the Kurdish, Turkish and Syrian peoples of the region to cooperate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) Co-Chair, Salih Muslim, tweeted on Monday:
“I hope we can live together in a good life and a peaceful country in brotherhood. Remembrance to our dead and tribute to our people.”
With magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.6, and epicentres in Turkey’s province of Kahramanmaraş, the two major tremors that hit the region on Monday caused casualties and infrastructure damage in North and East Syria too, although losses remain minor compared to Turkey and other parts of Syria.
Six people have died and 57 were injured in North and East Syria. All the deaths and 44 of the injuries occurred in the Shiekh Maqsoud area in the city of Aleppo, while seven were in Shahba, four in Kobanî and two in Manbij, according to Co-chair of AANES Health Board, Jiwan Mustafa.
AANES-controlled areas are ready to provide medical care to people outside the region, as well as to North and East Syria, Mustafa said.
After the earthquakes on Monday, AANES decided to suspend all work in schools and institutions until next Thursday, 9 February, with the exclusion of essential institutions and departments. AANES also called on people to “exercise caution and take refuge in the squares if they feel another earthquake.”
In contrast to the hand of friendship extended by the SDF, and despite the disastrous impact of the earthquakes across the region, Turkish mercenaries have not stopped attacking AANES. Last night they again attacked Tal Rifaat, where many of the people displaced by the Turkish invasion of Afrîn have found shelter.