New Delhi [India], February 7 (ANI): Amid speculation that Pakistan did not allow Indian Air Force planes to fly over its air space while going to Turkey and Syria for relief operations, the Indian Air Force clarified that as per standard operating procedure, its aircraft have avoided flying over Pakistan.
"Our aircraft don't fly over Pakistan as this is our standard operating procedure. Our planes take a longer route by flying from the Gujarat side to avoid Pakistani air space while going towards Europe or West Asia," an IAF official said.
The issue came up for clarification after speculations started that Pakistan has denied air space to Indian Air Force for sending relief material to Turkiye and Syria.
These two countries have suffered massively due to earthquakes which have killed thousands of people there.
India is extending its support to Turkey through the ongoing crisis after the earthquake that jolted the country on Monday. The IAF has, so far, sent four aircraft to Turkiye with relief material, National Disaster Response Force, and a military field hospital from Agra.
The Indian Air Force has also despatched a C-130 Super Hercules aircraft with medical supplies to Syria but no personnel would be deployed there for relief operations in view of the ongoing security situation there.
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted that IAF had also dispatched the field hospital to Turkey to establish a 30 bedded medical facility. Its first component has left on C17 with a 45-member medical team, including critical care specialists and surgeons. Also has an X-ray machine, ventilators, OT, and other equipment.
According to a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Monday, a meeting was conducted where it was decided that the NDRF's search and rescue teams, medical teams, and relief supplies would be sent out right away in collaboration with the Turkish government.
Several other countries have come forward to aid and assist Turkey after a massive earthquake shattered lives in the country.Turkey's death toll rose to at least 3,549 people on Tuesday. At least 22,168 were injured.
At least 100 aftershocks measuring 4.0 or greater have occurred since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey on Monday morning local time, the US Geological Survey said. (ANI)