The US Committee of the Blue Shield (USBCS) expresses its profound sorrow at the great loss of
life, now numbering more than 50,000 victims, due to the earthquake of February 6 and severe
aftershocks in the region of southern Türkiye and northwest Syria. Uncounted numbers of
others have been injured, have lost their homes and their livelihoods, and are now displaced. At
this time, the full extent of the damage to heritage sites, monuments, buildings, and collections
of international, national, and local significance is still unknown. Historic structures such as the
Gaziantep Castle and religious buildings of numerous faiths that were in continued use are
among those severely damaged or destroyed, while the continuity of local ethnic and religious
communities, particularly in Antakya, is also reported to be imperiled. Much remains to be
assessed, while the humanitarian needs for shelter, food and medical care remain paramount.
USBCS stands ready to assist, as feasible, Türkiye Blue Shield and colleagues in Syria in efforts to
preserve the region’s cultural heritage.

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