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Third shipment of aid from Iran reaches quake-hit Turkey

Frame grab from footage shows a plane laden with Iranian humanitarian aid supplies at the airport in the south-central Turkish city of Gaziantep on February 14, 2023.

A third shipment of humanitarian aid provided by Iran has started reaching Turkey, where more than 35,000 have perished so far as a result of an earthquake that hit the country and neighboring Syria more than a week ago. 

An Iranian plane carrying aid consignments touched down at the airport in the south-central Turkish city of Gaziantep on Tuesday, showed footage posted on Twitter by Ashkan Mousavi, director-general of public relations at Iran's Red Crescent Society (IRCS).

The combined death toll from the 7.8-magnitude temblor that hit the neighboring countries on February 6 has surpassed 40,000, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan putting the number of fatalities in Turkey at 35,418.

Pir-Hossein Koulivand, head of the IRCS, has also traveled to Turkey to examine the situation of quake-hit people from up close.

Footage from Koulivand's trip to Turkey, showed him being embraced by his Turkish counterpart Karam Kinik, who expressed emotional gratitude towards the Islamic Republic over the humanitarian assistance.

"We have felt Iran by our side at every time and moment, when we would face a problem," Kinik said, noting that Iranian relief teams were among the first to rush to Turkey's assistance in the aftermath of the devastating quake.

"[Both] us and the Turkish people are grateful for these services and efforts," he said, adding, "We thank God for having brothers like you."

Speaking on Sunday, Koulivand had said the third round of the Islamic Republic's aid shipments for Turkey weighed more than 55 tons, and was to be sent to the disaster-stricken country on board four transport planes that belong to the Iranian Air Force.

The shipment, he had added, featured 1,000 makeshift tents, 1,000 quilts, and three rescue vehicles, which were to be flown to Turkey alongside as many as 60 specialized Iranian rescue workers.

According to Koulivand, the Islamic Republic was prepared to head more such consignments to Turkey at the request of the Turkish Red Crescent Society.

The Islamic Republic has also delivered at least six batches of aid consignments to Syria so far.

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