While the death toll from the February 6 earthquake in Turkiye and Syria has risen to more than 12,000, people on the ground say it will easily surpass 20,000.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Turkiye (and Syria) started at 4:17am local time in Turkey.
Hundreds of aftershocks followed.
Given that at least 23 million people have been affected and more than 6,000 buildings have collapsed, the death toll keeps rising by the hour.
In In Turkiye alone, more than 5,600 buildings have been destroyed.
Amid this apocalyptic devastation, the French satirical rag, Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon making fun of the dead.
There is nothing funny about the cartoon unless making fun of the dead is part of French humor.
It is truly sickening and reflects total disregard for the dead.
Since those who died are overwhelmingly Muslim, the rag showed its sickening racism and contemptuous conduct.
The cartoonist, editor and publisher of the rag that often revels in filthy cartoons, fell to new lows.
Not surprisingly, social media users said the cartoon mocked the tragedy.
The earthquake has impacted millions of people across two countries (23 million according to latest figures) and called the drawing “disgusting”, “shameful”, “revolting” and akin to “hate speech”.
We have yet to hear the French regime speak out against such Islamophobic filth.
This is not freedom of speech; it is hate speech.
Rescue efforts in both Syria and Turkiye have been hampered by damaged roads and extremely cold temperatures.
Few survivors have been pulled out in the last 12 hours.
Rescue workers fear that most people trapped underneath tons of rubble will probably die of hypothermia.
The quake devasted large parts of southern Turkiye and northwestern Syria.
Turkiye’s Hatay, Gaziantep and Kilis provinces were badly hit while in Syria, Aleppo and Idlib suffered the most damage.
Even if slow, aid from abroad is trickling into Turkiye but not into Syria.
In Syria, meanwhile, political considerations have hampered provision of help to the badly-affected people.
The collective west and its Arabian client regimes are still trapped in the time warp of regime change.
The government of President Bashar al Asad is not going anywhere.
The west’s hatred should not be used to deprive innocent civilians of much-needed help.
There are growing international calls to end US sanctions against Syria. These constitute war crimes.
Help has come from Iran, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, and Iraq.
Commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, General Esmael Qa'ani arrived in Aleppo, Syria to assess firsthand the needs there and what Iran can do to help.
At present, the most pressing needs for affected people in northwestern Syria include support for rescue missions, emergency shelter and food relief, medical supplies, and diesel to ensure generators can function and provide basic electricity for hospitals.
The victims have little hope since relief efforts have not been able to meet the challenge.
Syria was already devastated by 11 years of war imposed from abroad.
Hundreds of thousands of people have died and millions more have been turned into refugees.
Let there be no mistake about it. The collective west and their puppets in the region including Turkey have been directly responsible for this tragedy.
Now a natural calamity has added to people’s suffering.