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US House passes resolution mourning deaths in Türkiye, Syria quakes

The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution mourning the loss of life in the earthquakes that hit Türkiye and Syria and condemning Syria’s Bashar al Assad’s regime for blocking UN aid through its border.

The resolution, which cleared the House floor in a 412-2 vote on Monday, also expressed its deep condolences to the families of the many earthquake victims and applauded the work of humanitarian aid and rescue workers on the ground.

Those who voted against the resolution were Republican Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Thomas Massie.

Introduced by Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, it “condemns the efforts by the Assad regime of Syria to exploit the disaster to evade international pressure and accountability.”

“American families offer sincere sympathies to the families who are mourning loved ones and nursing others back to health,” said Wilson ahead of the voting.

“The Republic of Türkiye for over 70 years has been a valued NATO ally, and as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on US-Türkiye relations and Turkish Americans, I’m particularly supportive of their efforts to meet the needs of the impacted earthquake victims,” he added.

READ MORE: US sends additional aid for Türkiye quake survivors

Solidarity with peoples of Türkiye, Syria

Wilson also called for the UN not to politicise humanitarian assistance bound for Syria.

“It is significant that this resolution calls on President (Joe) Biden to use all diplomatic means to push the UN to get aid to those in need,” he added.

Rep. Bill Keating, a Democrat, noted that the resolution sends a strong message of solidarity to the peoples of Türkiye and Syria from the US and pledged support for quake-affected victims.

The devastating February 6 twin earthquakes have claimed more than 44,300 lives in Türkiye’s southern region.

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes, centred in Kahramanmaras province, have impacted some 13 million people across 11 provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, Elazig and Sanliurfa.

Over 10,200 aftershocks have been reported, including a 5.6 magnitude earthquake that jolted Malatya on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring 110 others.

The quakes also caused widespread devastation in parts of northwestern Syria, where the death toll has climbed to at least 5,840.

World in solidarity with Türkiye after powerful earthquakes

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