Updates from Ned Price, Department Spokesperson on the Southeast Earthquakes

Excerpt from Department Press Briefing

Washington DC, February 13, 2023 



Next, as we continue to see the death toll rise, I want to again offer our severe – or sincere condolences to the people of Türkiye and Syria. The images of this tragedy are profound, and we are working to assist those in need day-in and day-out. This earthquake has affected not only Syria and Türkiye but also the world as we see the devastation and loss of human lives it has wrought. 

The United States continues to support search, rescue, recovery, and relief efforts and to mobilize additional equipment and resources to assist with recovery and humanitarian response efforts in both Türkiye and Syria. We commend the incredible dedication of humanitarian responders and rescue workers who are working around the clock under extraordinary difficult circumstances. 

The international community has a moral obligation to do everything in its power to get aid into affected areas of Syria. That includes urgently coming together in the United States Security Council to authorize additional crossing points from Türkiye. As we saw this past week, having only one crossing means there’s a single point of failure. We echo the repeated calls of UN officials for the UN Security Council to authorize additional border crossings to help deliver lifesaving aid to people in the northwest of Syria. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield put it well in her last statement last night. As she said, “People in the affected areas are counting on us. They are appealing to our common humanity to help in their moment of need. We cannot let them down.” This is not a political issue; it is a human one. 

To our friend and Ally Türkiye, we will be with you every step of the way. 

To the people of Syria, we are sending you precisely the same message. The United States is continuing to mobilize assistance through U.S.-funded humanitarian partners and will be pushing for a resolution in the Security Council that authorize – authorizes those additional crossings as soon as possible. More border crossings will save more lives. It is that simple.