The Syrian President ordered an air-strike on the town of Marea which was devastated by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which is around 70 miles from the epicentre.
Bashar al-Assad who is also a close ally of Vladimir Putin, bombed the town whilst civilians lay trapped under the rubble of buildings which had collapsed and so far more than 11,000 have been confirmed dead in both Syria and Turkey.
Syria’s Health Minister told the state-run Sana news agency that so far 1,262 people have died in government-controlled areas and this figure will sadly rise further.
In total 11,236 people have been killed in Turkey and Syria and the White Helmets organisation who are a volunteer rescue group have recorded 1,400 deaths in Syria.
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The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that there has been 8,574 deaths recorded since the earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks which have rocked the two countries since Monday.
President Assad has been condemned over the air strike by MP Alicia Kearns who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee.
She told MPs, “Yesterday he [Assad] bombed Marea, which was an area affected by the earthquake, in what was a truly callous and heinous attack and opportunism for him to try to attack and destroy the moderate opposition.”
The British Foreign Secretary slammed the Syrian government for the “completely unacceptable bombing” of civilians and the moderate opposition.
Suriye vatandaşı Muhammed Ahmed’i de arama kurtarma ekibimiz Antakya’da enkaz altıdan sağ bir şekilde kurtardı. pic.twitter.com/lSxwSqyex0
— Ekrem İmamoğlu (@ekrem_imamoglu) February 7, 2023
James Cleverly said, “Sadly it speaks to a long-standing pattern of behaviour by the Assad regime, a regime that we condemn, have sanctioned and will continue to bring about sanctions working with our international friends and partners to try to prevent behaviour like this occurring again.”
Cleverly said that Kearns was “absolutely right to highlight the completely unacceptable bombing of areas in the immediate aftermath of this natural disaster.”
The Syrian Red Crescent are pleading with Western governments to lift the heavy sanctions and provide aid to Syria.
The head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Khaled Hboubati, told a news conference Damascus, “I call on for the lifting of sanctions on Syria. This is the most important thing for us.”
The White Helmets organisation are also issuing pleas to foreign diplomats to pile pressure on Assad to stop Damascus from bombing the region.
Assad’s 19-year-old daughter Zein al-Assad who lives in London, told her followers on Instagram to “be careful who you donate to,” she then shared a link for donations to people in Syria’s rebel-held region.
According to the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera who saw her comment on Instagram, Zein said, “This is a group supporting terrorists in Idlib.
“The donations will not go to [the government controlled regions of] Aleppo, Latakia or Hama.”
In Syria almost 30,000 people have been forced to leave their homes as a result of the earthquake, state media has reported.
The Syrian Environment Minister Hussein Makhlouf said that 180 shelters have been opened for their internally displaced people and the 30,000 who left their homes only refers to parts of Syria which are under government control.