The US deployed the George HW Bush aircraft carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean to assist Turkey in responding to the earthquake disaster.
“The George HW Bush Carrier Strike Group has arrived in the eastern Mediterranean and is ready to provide logistical, medical, and airlift support” to Turkey, the US European Command (USEUCOM) said on Tuesday. 2.
The Anadolu Agency news agency, citing sources familiar with the matter, said the US aircraft carrier was anchored in international waters off the Greek island of Rhodes.
USEUCOM said it sent a team to Incirlik Air Base, southern Turkey, on February 9 to find out “how quickly the US military can act” to provide support at the request of Ankara.
“When an ally or partner country suffers an incalculable disaster, with catastrophic loss of life, the United States never hesitates to respond to requests from that country,” said General Christopher Cavoli, commander of USEUCOM.
Officials and health workers said today that 20,665 people died in Turkey and 3,553 people died in Syria after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on February 6, bringing the total number of victims to 24,218.
More than 160,000 employees are participating in the search and rescue operation. They worked day and night in the thousands of rubble, looking for survivors, often calling people to silence to search for the sounds of life under the concrete.
Dozens of countries have helped Turkey and Syria deal with the aftermath. The US, on February 9, announced an initial support package of $85 million to provide food, drinking water, tents, and disease prevention in affected areas.