Syria has now officially asked for assistance under a scheme that’s designed to support countries hit by natural disasters – the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism.
Turkey had already done so – with search and rescue teams en route or in the country – but has now broadened its request for help to things such as blankets, tents and heaters.
In Brussels, at a crisis management centre, they’re working out what help can be coordinated.
Sending teams to Syria would be more complicated than Turkey – with control in the north divided between the government and rebel groups.
Yesterday, the EU said it was seeking to provide aid in Syria through existing humanitarian networks.
Brussels does not recognise Bashar al-Assad as a legitimate head of state and has imposed sanctions on the regime – with generally low-level contacts between Damascus and Brussels.
A European Commission spokesman has also said that teams must have the support of the authorities on the ground, otherwise it would be impossible to work in an effective and safe way.