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Is the European Union responding to Syria’s request?

With the increasing death toll in northern Syria as a result of the devastating earthquake that struck southeastern Turkey at dawn last Monday, the European Commission’s crisis management official revealed that Syria has activated the European Union’s civil protection mechanism.

Janiz Lenarcic added in a press conference today, Wednesday, that the Commission “received this morning a request for assistance from the Syrian government through the civil protection mechanism.”

Where he indicated that the member states of the bloc are eager to contribute to providing assistance in response to the request.

He also stressed that “the Commission encourages EU member states to respond to Syria’s request for medical equipment and food, while monitoring to ensure that any aid is not used for other purposes” by the sanctioned Syrian government.

Simultaneously, Najat Rushdi, the UN Deputy Special Envoy to Syria, stressed the country’s need for urgent assistance and support to remove the rubble. And she said in a tweet on her Twitter account that Syria also needs the support of rescue teams, after the earthquake caused thousands of victims among the dead and injured.

Earlier today, the Syrian Minister of Health, Hassan Al-Ghobash, announced that the death toll from the earthquake had risen to 1,250 in areas controlled by the regime forces, while the death toll had reached about 3,000 in opposition-held areas, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The death toll in both Turkey and Syria rose to more than 11,200, according to the latest Turkish official figures. Officials and medical workers said that 8,574 people died in southern Turkey and 2,662 on the Syrian side, bringing the total death toll to 11,236.

While rescuers are still trying to find survivors stuck under the rubble.

This catastrophe also comes at a time when Syria suffers from poor living conditions in both its parts, both the regime and the opposition, after 12 years of war that exhausted the country and leveled entire regions. While European countries and the United States imposed many sanctions on the regime.

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