Army, Air Force and Navy personnel are responding to requests for assistance from Turkey’s government following a 7.8 earthquake on Monday that devastated parts of that country and neighboring Syria. The death toll has now surpassed 22,000 people.
The U.S. began amassing a response to the earthquake on Tuesday, according to a Friday U.S. European Command release.
“From search and rescue to medical assistance and humanitarian aid, our command is working with other U.S. government agencies to provide assistance requested by the government of Türkiye in the aftermath of this natural disaster,” Army Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, EUCOM’s commander, said in a statement Friday. “Compassion and determination are the driving forces behind every U.S. military member and civilian assisting Türkiye during these difficult days.”
Army helicopters are bringing medical personnel from the U.S. International Aid Agency into the parts of Turkey hardest hit, according to the release, and transporting the injured to a medical facility.
Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base is the main hub for relief, where airmen are helping Turkish forces offload international aid, receiving over 1,300 aircraft since efforts began.
The George Bush Carrier Strike Group moved into the eastern Mediterranean Sea Tuesday, according to the release.
The Treasury Department on Thursday announced it had granted a six-month license to provide humanitarian aid to Syria, a workaround for sanctions that prevent dealings with the country.
“As international allies and humanitarian partners mobilize to help those affected, I want to make very clear that U.S. sanctions in Syria will not stand in the way of life-saving efforts for the Syrian people,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in a release.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.