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Ukraine sending 87 rescuers to Turkey after earthquake

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Ukraine said Tuesday that it would send a team of several dozen rescue workers to Turkey after an earthquake left thousands dead there and in neighboring Syria, Agence France-Presse reported.

Kyiv will send “to the republic of Turkey a combined search-and-rescue team of the State Emergency Service consisting of 87 people,” including 10 flight crew members, according to Ukraine’s government website.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he spoke with Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and “expressed condolences over the horrific tragedy that befell the people of Turkey due to the earthquakes.”

“I informed him of the decision to send a group of rescuers and equipment from Ukraine to Turkey to help in overcoming the aftermath of the emergency,” Zelensky said on social media.

“Ukrainian specialists have relevant experience in overcoming the consequences of natural disasters, and will arrive in the affected regions as soon as possible,” he added.

Close to both Kyiv and Moscow, Turkey has acted as a mediator between them since Russia invaded Ukraine in February of last year.

Ukraine has not announced aid to Syria. Damascus is an ally of Russia, which has military bases there.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Monday as people slept.

The official toll in Turkey rose to over 3,400 on Tuesday.

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