Civil war hinders rescue efforts in Syria
A massive earthquake epicentered in Turkey but also hit Syria caused great trouble in the country already amidst a civil war as the flow of critical U.N. aid from Turkey has temporarily halted due to damage to roads and other logistical issues
Rescuers struggled to dig people out of the rubble of collapsed buildings in a "race against time" amid political quarrel that hampered the search and rescue efforts.
At least 1,444 people were killed in Syria and about 3,500 injured, according to figures from the Damascus government and rescue workers in the northwestern region controlled by insurgents.
Syria's Red Crescent is ready to deliver relief aid to all the country's regions including opposition-held areas and is urging the United Nation to facilitate this, its head said on Tuesday after at least 1,602 people have been killed and thousands injured in the country.
"We do not differentiate between any of the Syrian people. We are the Syrian Arab Red Crescent for all the Syrian people," Khaled Hboubati told in a news conference.
In areas hit by the earthquake in northwestern Syria, rescue efforts were hampered by lack of equipment and freezing conditions. Rescuers cleared piles of debris using makeshift tools and their hands.
The Syrian government also asked the international community on Monday evening to come to its aid but later rejected Israel when it offered help.
A Syrian official said the country “ridiculed and denied the allegations” of requesting aid from its enemy.
“How can Syria ask for help from an entity that has killed” Syrians “for decades?” the Syrian official said.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Tuesday called on Russia to help pressure Syria into allowing humanitarian aid into the country for victims of Monday's deadly earthquakes quickly and without additional obstacles.
"All international actors, including Russia, should exert their pressure on the Syrian regime to ensure humanitarian help for victims can arrive," she said.