Ministerial delegation to visit Syria over deadly earthquake


Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati formed Tuesday a ministerial delegation that will head Wednesday to Syria to meet with Syrian authorities over the deadly earthquake.

Syrian state media and rescuers said at least 1,602 people have died in the earthquake and more than 3,600 have been injured across the country.

The Syrian health ministry reported damage across the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus.

The Lebanese delegation includes Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib, Public Works and Tranport Minister Ali Hamieh, Social Affairs Minister Hector Hajjar and Agriculture Minister Abbas Hajj Hassan. It also includes Secretary General of the Higher Relief Committee Maj. Gen. Mohamed Kheir and Director of the Medical Care Directorate at the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Joseph el-Helo.

The Lebanese Civil Defense, the Lebanese Red Cross and the Amal-affiliated Islamic Rissala Scout Association had earlier announced that they were sending rescue teams to Syria.

Minister Hamieh announced Tuesday that Beirut's airport and the ports of Beirut and Tripoli will be open to receive tax-exempt humanitarian aid destined for Syria.

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