JERUSALEM: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had given the green light to send aid to earthquake-ravaged Syria, but a Damascus official quickly denied they had requested assistance in the first place.
“I approved a request from a diplomatic source for humanitarian aid to Syria,” Netanyahu told lawmakers from his hawkish Likud party, adding that the aid would be delivered soon.
However, a Syrian official told reporters that Damascus “ridiculed and denied the allegations” that it had asked Israel for assistance.
“How can Syria seek assistance from an entity that has been killing Syrians for decades?”The official stated.
Syria’s government does not recognize Israel, and the two nations have fought multiple conflicts since Israel’s establishment in 1948.
Netanyahu’s office declined to elaborate on the source of the request to assist Syria, where hundreds of people were killed by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in neighboring Turkiye on Monday.
Following the incident, the Israeli leader confirmed that his government would send humanitarian aid to Turkiye.
According to the foreign ministry of Israel, a team of search and rescue experts will depart for Turkiye on Monday, and a second mission with humanitarian relief will follow on Tuesday.