Expatica news

Russia sends more aircraft to fight Israel fire

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday ordered more aircraft to be sent to Israel, after emergency services sent three aircraft as part of international efforts to fight a massive fire.

“The president ordered further reinforcements and aid to be sent to Israel,” the Kremlin said in a statement, after Medvedev met emergency minister Sergei Shoigu.

Medvedev spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday evening to offer further aid, the Kremlin said in a statement on its web site.

An IL-76 plane capable of dropping 42,000 litres (9,200 gallons) of water at a single pass and a transport helicopter capable of dropping 15,000 litres were en route Saturday morning, an emergency ministry statement said.

Two Russian planes, another Il-76 and a Be-200 amphibious jet, were already in Israel the ministry said.

At least 41 people have died and more than 17,000 have been evacuated from their homes as a huge fire has ripped through northern Israel, with flames reaching the southern outskirts of Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city.