Syria asks for EU help after quake; bloc declines to say if it’ll transfer Israeli aid

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Syria makes an official plea to the European Union for help after the deadly earthquake that struck it and Turkey on Monday, the bloc’s commissioner for crisis management says.

The EU introduced extensive sanctions against the Bashar Assad regime in 2011 to punish it for deadly crackdowns against protestors.

The European Commission is “encouraging” EU member countries to respond to Syria’s request for medical supplies and food, while monitoring to ensure that any aid “is not diverted” by the sanctioned government in Damascus, Janez Lenarcic says.

The EU delegation to Israel declines to comment on whether it will offer to transfer Israeli humanitarian aid to Syria, but does tell The Times of Israel that “the EU is considering all viable options to activate additional resources to be deployed to all affected areas as soon as possible.”

“We will seek to make sure that additional assistance reaches people both in government-controlled and in non-government-controlled parts of Northern Syria.”

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