A Saudi plane landed in Syria on Tuesday for the first time since the civil war broke out in the country, bringing aid to people affected by last week’s massive earthquake.
The plane arrived at Aleppo airport carrying 35 tons of food aid, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported.
Saudi Arabia backed the rebels for many years after the uprising-turned-conflict erupted in 2011.
However, like many other countries, it offered support and aid to earthquake-hit areas under the control of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
“This is the first time a Saudi plane has arrived in regime-controlled areas in more than 12 years,’’ the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Gulf kingdom was the first country last week to provide aid to rebel areas in north-western Syria.
Several others planes landed at Damascus airport , carrying aid provided by United Nations agencies, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.
The UN’s World Health Organisation (WHO) brought first-aid supplies, medical supplies to treat pneumonia, as well as tents, SANA reported.
Activists and opposition have repeatedly criticised the delay in aid provided to the rebel-held region.
According to WHO, around 5 million people in Syria have been affected by the earthquake, which struck the Turkey-Syria border region with a magnitude of 7.7.
Some 5,900 have died in Syria, according to WHO figures.
The total number of confirmed dead is now more than 37,500.(dpa/NAN)