Turkey sends drone, rescuers to aid search for Iranian President after helicopter accident

Ankara: Turkey has sent a drone to participate in the search and rescue operations for the helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, which had an accident in Iran’s northwestern province of East Azerbaijan.

“Based on the request made by the Iranian authorities through the Foreign Ministry, an Akinci UAV and a Cougar-type helicopter with night vision capability were assigned to participate in the search and rescue activities of the crashed helicopter of the President of Iran and his delegation,” the Defence Ministry said on Sunday evening in a statement.

The drone has been dispatched, while the helicopter remains on standby, prepared to engage pending favourable weather conditions, according to the Ministry as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.

Iran has requested a night vision search and rescue helicopter from Turkey following the helicopter accident, the Turkish disaster management agency said.

Turkey is also sending 32 search and rescue mountaineers and six vehicles to support Iran’s rescue operation, the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said in a statement.

In addition, mountaineer search and rescue teams, consisting of 15 people each from Ankara, Diyarbakir, and Konya provinces are on standby to be dispatched, the statement added.

Turkey closely follows the incident in full liaison and coordination with the Iranian authorities and is ready to provide all necessary support, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier said on social media platform X on Sunday.

The site of the helicopter accident is close to Turkey’s eastern Van province.

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Raisi had an accident and made a hard landing in East Azerbaijan on Sunday, the state-run IRIB TV reported.

The possible site of the incident has been determined to be in Varzaqan, nearly 670 km away from the capital Tehran, and rescue teams have been dispatched to the scene, the report said.


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