United States military troops arrived in Turkey on Wednesday to assist the country after two colossal earthquakes wreaked havoc on the country’s border with Syria on Monday.
The Department of Defense sent two Urban Search and Rescue teams and a critical aid package to the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey to assist in humanitarian aid, according to an Incirlik Air Base press release.
“The U.S. Air Force brought United States Agency for International Development’s Disaster Assistance Response Teams from the East and West coasts of the United States to Incirlik Air Base today to join the international effort to assist the people of Turkey,” 39th Air Base Wing Commander Col. Calvin Powell stated. “The Airmen of the 39th Air Base Wing stay ready to respond in support of our allies along NATO’s southern flank.”
The State Department, the DoD, and the interagency are working closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide Turkey with the requested relief. The agencies “will continue to provide support as requested by the Turkish government,” Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder stated Wednesday.
DOD just posted an official announcement on the US military’s earthquake relief ops getting underway in Turkey.
More details below.
— Andrew deGrandpré (@adegrandpre) February 10, 2023
In addition to search and rescue assistance, the U.S. supplies medical assistance and other aid, European Commander Gen. Christopher Cavoli told the Washington Post.
It remains unclear how the U.S. will assist Syria, which also felt the ramifications of the 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes and their aftershocks. Turkey has maintained a closer, yet sometimes tested, relationship with America due to its NATO status, the outlet noted. (RELATED: Thousands Offer To Adopt Baby Girl Who Was Pulled From Rubble With Umbilical Chord Attached After All Her Family Dies)
The earthquake, which has a reported disaster zone of over 311 miles, has claimed the lives of more than 20,000 people between Turkey and Syria.