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Deadly Turkey, Syria quakes

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has declared a three-month state of emergency in ten worst-hit cities after Monday’s earthquakes devastated southern Turkey and northern Syria. Erdogan also unveiled a plan to send over 50 thousand aid workers to what he called a disaster zone. Announcement came as the death toll from two earthquakes measuring 7.8 and 7.5 on the Richter scale, keeps rising. More than four thousand 500 people have been confirmed dead in Turkey. South across the border in Syria, the fatalities stand at over 18 hundred with thousands of injuries. Meanwhile, the UN Children Agency, UNICEF, said that thousands of children may have been killed. Rescuers are racing against the time and braving extreme weather to find the possible survivors. The World Health Organization has warned that up to 23 million people could be affected by earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Syria humanitarian crisis

The Syrian Red Crescent has appealed to Western countries to lift sanctions and provide aid to help the Arab country deal with the aftermath of devastating earthquakes. The appeal, which is directed to the European Union and the US, echoed a plea by the Syrian foreign minister. Faisal Mekdad has said Damascus is ready to provide all the required facilities to receive humanitarian assistance. Meanwhile, Iran called on the international community to exert pressure on the US to lift its cruel sanctions on Syria to facilitate aid deliveries. More than a decade of foreign-backed insurgency and years of western sanctions have crippled Syria's economy and its ability to respond to large-scale disasters. 

Iran underground air force base

The Iranian army has unveiled its first underground air force base as part of the country’s detailed plans to develop subterranean military bases.The base, dubbed Oghab 44, is capable of storing and operating fighter jets, bombers and drones. It consists of various parts, including alert area, command post, warplane hangars as well as repair and maintenance depots. The base has been constructed with high safety standard and can be used for surprise aerial operations. Oghab 44 is one of Iran’s several tactical underground air force bases that have been constructed across the country in recent years. The Iranian Air Force unveiled an underground facility dubbed Drone Base 313, last year.

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