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Local journalist to Press TV: Syria suffers deadly earthquake amid crippling sanctions imposed by US

People watch as rescue operations take place on a site after an earthquake in Diyarbakir, Turkey February 6, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

A Syrian journalist says different provinces lack medical supplies, staff, and technical equipment to rescue survivors of the deadly earthquake that hit Syria Monday morning, mainly due to the brutal sanctions imposed on the country by the United States.

Sara Salloum, Syrian journalist and activist, made the remark while speaking to Press TV from Tishreen University Hospital in Latakia.

She said more casualties were arriving at that hospital as well as other hospitals and medical centers as we spoke.

“I am currently at Tisheein University Hospital, which is packed with people. There is a state of fear and panic among the people. Many people are dead here at the hospital, and dozens of others are being taken to other cities seeking refuge,” she told Press TV website.

The official SANA news agency, quoting the country’s health ministry, said the quake has killed over 650 people and left more than 1,400 others injured, including the cities of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Tartus.

“There are families trapped under the rubble. Unfortunately, Syria suffers from lack of medical personnel, medical supplies, and medication due to the ongoing US sanctions imposed on the country. The fire department in Latakia said today that it does not have any heavy vehicles that can help rescue the survivors,” she told Press TV website.

Medical students were also told to head to the nearest medical centers to help with the crisis management, even with bear hands, she said.

The journalist added, “Due to the lack of medical centers, equipment, and medicine resulting from the ongoing US sanctions and the Caesar Act that have been crippling the Syrian economy, other provinces, including Damascus, have sent what they could to help rescue the victims of the earthquake, including equipment, medicine, and 28 ambulances.”

Sara said a state of panic is prevailing across Latakia and Aleppo provinces, in particular.

The Syrian journalist then pointed out that some nongovernmental organizations are trying to raise funds inside Syria in an attempt to help with the situation in light of serious lack of all basic needs for crisis management.

Raed Ahmed, who heads Syria’s National Earthquake Center, has been quoted by Syrian media as saying that this was “historically, the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the center.”

The earthquake has been registered the toughest since 28 years.

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