The Royal Air Force has delivered vital humanitarian aid to the Turkey-Syria border, which will provide much-needed relief and protection for Syrians amid the worsening humanitarian crisis in Idlib…

An RAF C-17 carrying 37 tonnes of UK aid landed in Hatay, Turkey this week. The supplies on board included tents to provide life-saving shelter, hygiene kits, blankets, water purification tablets, cooking equipment and lanterns for around 300 families who have been forced to flee their homes and seek safety in harsh conditions. This comes as schools, nurseries and hospitals are targeted by Syrian regime bombing.

The aid flight is in addition to £89 million of UK aid for Syria – announced last week – to help protect victims of violence, which included tents, thermal blankets, clothing, food, clean water and medical supplies, among other measures. The aid supplies are being distributed in the worst affected areas including Idlib in north west Syria, with the cooperation of the Turkish Red Crescent.

It comes as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace visited Ankara today to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, to discuss how the UK can further support Turkey, and those Syrians in desperate need. This follows the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s meeting with his Turkish counterparts in Ankara last week to discuss the continuing violence in Syria and the UK’s support to the crisis.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The people of Idlib have suffered enormously during this conflict and these crucial supplies delivered by our military will provide shelter for hundreds of families in desperate need. We stand in solidarity with Turkey after the losses they have suffered, and the UK will do what we can to offer support.”

International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “It is a tragedy that almost a million people – mostly women and children – have been forced to flee their homes in the past 100 days as the ruthless Assad regime and its Russian backers relentlessly bombed their homes and killed their families.

“Too many innocent people are struggling to survive in freezing conditions without a roof over their head. Through UK aid, delivered by our world-class troops, the British people are helping to save lives, boost regional security and stop the cruel suffering of defenceless Syrians in this warzone.”

The UK is one of the largest bilateral donors to the Syria crisis, providing more than £3.1 billion to trusted partners in Syria and the region since 2011. From day one, we have been at the forefront of the humanitarian response providing more than 28 million food rations, 19 million medical check-ups and 12 million vaccines across Syria and the region.

Picture: MOD/SAC Tom Cann © Crown Copyright