Two search and rescue units from the United States will be sent to Turkey to assist with the aftermath of the earthquake, US Ambassador to Turkey Jeff Flake told CNN on Monday.
“There will be two teams from the US. One from Fairfax County and another from Los Angeles — what they call these heavy units, each with I think 70 personnel with search dogs as well as paramedics,” Flake said. “That’s what we are told is needed.”
Flake said that Turkey is going to need help with destroyed structures, saying that the last he knew was that 28 buildings were either down or partially damaged.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke with his counterpart on Monday, the State Department said.
“Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister [Mevlüt] Çavuşoğlu discussed ways the United States and our partners could best assist. Secretary Blinken confirmed our initial assistance response was already underway and pledged to do all that we can in coordination with Türkiye to assist the victims of the earthquake in both Türkiye and Syria,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said.
In terms of getting support into Syria, Flake noted there are a number of humanitarian and church groups the US has worked in the country. He said it makes it “doubly difficult” that there is no functioning government in Syria.
Flake suggested that Americans direct donations through the Red Cross, non-profits and church groups if they want to help.