An IDF delegation of 150 soldiers and 300 medical personnel has been deployed in Turkey to aid in the search and rescue attempts after the deadly earthquake that has claimed the lives of 11,500 people and counting.
On Wednesday, two Israeli Air Force heavy transport planes carried medical equipment to set up a field hospital in affected areas in southeastern Turkey.
Dramatic footage shows Israeli troops extracting a woman in her twenties who was trapped under the rubble since the first earthquake on Monday morning, The Jerusalem Post cited commander Maj. (Res.) Matan Schneider as saying, adding the extraction attempt took nearly five hours.
Trigger Warning ⚠️
RAW FOOTAGE: Watch as IDF search and rescue experts extract this 23-year-old woman to safety after the devastating earthquake in Türkiye.
For the IDF, there is no greater mission than saving a life. pic.twitter.com/KPCTgUBMfi
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) February 8, 2023
“The woman emerged healthy and whole, with only a fractured pelvis,” Schneider said. “She was evacuated and has returned to her fiance.”
The IDF rescue team also heard calls for help from a building shaft that had collapsed.
#Watch: #IDF search and rescue teams save civilians trapped under rubble in southern #Turkey following devastating #earthquake.
🎥IDF Spokesperson pic.twitter.com/MiRoKPwqrW
— Israel National News – Arutz Sheva (@ArutzSheva_En) February 8, 2023
Soldiers took four and a half hours to save a 12-year-old boy, who was stuck alone after four of his family members had been killed in the collapse.
A 15-year-old girl was also successfully pulled out of a collapsed building on Wednesday evening.
The military team also assisted local rescue teams extract a 2-year-old boy.
🔴WATCH: An IDF rescue team in Turkey pulls a 23-year-old woman from beneath the rubble, bring her to safety
🔴READ MORE: https://t.co/7qTipxsQmQ
Video Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit#Turkey | #Earthquake pic.twitter.com/TmEGdXbjd7
— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) February 8, 2023
“The delegation has 150 rescuers and is also building a field hospital. We are in the early days of searching to find and rescue people who are trapped. We did this very successfully so far,” IDF Col. Golan Voch said.
Voch went on to say that in the short time the IDF had been there they had already saved five people and were in the process of extracting a further two.
“This is a high level of success considering how much time we have been here,” said Voch.
WATCH: The IDF delegation working to rescue three trapped under the rubble following devastating earthquakes in Turkey.
CREDIT: IDF Spokesperson's Unit | #TurkeyEarthquake
Live updates: https://t.co/nldrecflfH pic.twitter.com/xpi8hToC8S
— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) February 7, 2023
According to Voch, Israel’s preparedness for such situations have made the IDF team more effective than teams sent from other countries.
He also said that only one other country, Azerbaijan, had sent a larger delegation than Israel’s.
Voch said, “We will go over 420 personnel soon. All Israeli citizens can be proud. The speed with which we got to the field has been impressive and we hope we will continue with success going forward.”
Voch said they would not give up hope of finding survivors for at least five days and that Israeli troops would remain in Turkey for up to two weeks.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended Voch on his efforts.
“You are carrying out the most important humanitarian work and are bringing great honor to the State of Israel, and showing our true face to the world,” Netanyahu said via phone. “Do whatever you can to save lives, and stay safe.”
Israel also agreed to send aid to Syria, an enemy country, after Damascus requested it – a claim it later denied. Several thousand Syrians have died in the earthquake.
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