On Thursday, the Libyan Ambassador to Syria, Mohamed bin Shaaban called for concerted efforts to help Syria regain its regional and Arab status, and rejoin the Arab League.
In press statements, Shaaban said, “We sympathise with the Syrian people in light of the grave consequences caused by the 7.8 earthquakes that hit Syria and Turkey earlier this month, and left thousands dead. We will help them as much as possible, and provide them with their necessary needs within the framework of the air bridge of aid being sent by the Libyan people.”
He indicated the General Command of the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, as well as the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU), led by Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba sent numerous aid planes to Syria.
The Libyan diplomat stressed that the LNA alone has so far sent 14 planes, carrying nearly 50 tons of aid. The GNU is believed to have sent a further five flights. The combined death toll in Turkey and Syria now stands at 47,244.
Notably, the Syrian News Agency Sana quoted the Director of the LNA’s Media Office, Malik Bahodha as saying, “Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar offers his sympathy and solidarity with the Syrian people. As a result of the earthquake, and based on his instructions, an air bridge was opened to deliver and provide aid.”
On 7 February, the LNA operated the first air bridge to transport relief shipments and various aid to Syria. The Military Information Division stated that the air bridge and the aid convoy came via direct instructions from Haftar. A video posted showed food and relief items being loaded onto a cargo plane.
Meanwhile, the Libyan Parliament-designated government, headed by Fathi Bashagha, expressed its “sincere condolences and sympathy to the peoples and governments of Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon for the victims of the catastrophic earthquake that struck the Mediterranean region.”
The government also expressed its solidarity and support during this catastrophe and hopes for a speedy recovery for the injured.