On Tuesday, Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) President Khaled Hboubati called for lifting the U.S. and Western sanctions on Syria to facilitate relief efforts as the earthquake-stricken country is in dire need of rescue equipment.
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He made the remarks in a press conference in Damascus, stressing that the earthquake, which jolted parts of Syria on Monday, has killed over 800 people so far.
The SARC wants equipment, ambulances, and heavy machinery, "and the main obstacle is the sanctions imposed on Syria, which we demand to be lifted immediately," Hboubati said.
The earthquake heavily hit Aleppo, Latakia, Tartous, Hama in northern Syria and the rebel-held Idlib province.
Hboubati said that SARC does not differentiate between people living in the government or rebel-held areas, expressing readiness to send an aid convoy to Idlib.
The SARC chief also noted that the death toll would rise given the difficulty of removing the rubble and recovering trapped people.
"The deaths will increase, and the results will be catastrophic, and up until now, buildings are falling," he lamented.