Turkish Police Officer Murders Russian Ambassador

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A Turkish Police officer assassinated the Russian Ambassador to Turkey in front of a horrified crowd at a photo exhibition in Ankara, the Turkish capital, over the Russian’s hard-line uncompromising commitment to Syria’s Bashar al Assad.

The Russian Ambassador, Andrei Karlov, 62, was shot at least eight times, with several of the shots fired after the ambassador had died. The well-dressed gunman appeared to taunt the ambassador as he lie motionless. Witnesses, including an Associated Press photographer, said the assassin circled the body, shouting, and fired at least two more shots.

A video of the murder, posted by CBSNews which can be seen here, shows the Ambassador speaking at the photo exhibition with the gunman standing behind him. Seconds into the video the Ambassador is shot, his expression of pain and surprise caught on tape. The gunman, dressed in a black suit and tie, continued to face the crowd, pointing his weapon, the ambassador can be seen on the floor. The assassination was motivated by the Russian’s involvement in Syria, the increased violence and killing the citizens of Aleppo are facing.

"The United States strongly condemns the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, in Ankara today, which reportedly also left others wounded. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of Ambassador Karlov and the other victims, and we offer our condolences to the Russian people and Government.  This heinous attack on a member of the diplomatic corps is unacceptable, and we stand united with Russia and Turkey in our determination to confront terrorism in all of its forms," said the White House spokesperson, Ned Price.

The assassin, a 22-year-old police officer, Mevlut Mert Altintas, shouted "Allahu akbar," the signature phrase spoken before Islamic State murders, was killed by police. Although news reports have said his phrase was more of a declaration as opposed to an allegiance. Three others were hurt in the exchange of gunfire.

 

Also Istanbul Airport Twin Blasts: 41 Dead; 239 Injured

 

Ankara, has long been the hotbed of discord and conflict. October 2015, twin blast ripped through a peace demonstration where thousands were participating in a peace rally. More than 100 died at the scene with more than 500 injured. The violence between Kurdish Workers Party and the Turkish government remains one of the reasons behind the continuous violence.

In March 2016, a massive car bomb exploded in the Turkish capital killing 34 and wounding 125 with terrorist targeting a high traffic transportation hub. The blast was caught on CCTV camera and footage played around the world.

The Islamic State has waged war against the Turkish people and government as the border between Turkey and Syria is considered the most accessible for the Islamic State rebels to move through. Keeping the borders free of ISIS has resulted in increased aggressive and violence from the Islamic State. The Istanbul Airport in June 2016, was the target of twin blasts that left 41 dead and 239 injured.

Ankara remains the center of Turkish conflicts and violence. The continued violence in Syria, the Russians, Iranians building a coalition with Assad, the failure Coup attempt, and the continued escalation of the Islamic State and other fringe radical groups using the instability and unrest to recruit and radicalize fearful and traumatized citizens.

The Syrian Civil War has created increased strain on all neighboring nations especially those who have accepted refugees.

The Turkish people are unified only in stopping Assad and protesting the treatment of citizens of Aleppo.

Turkey, a member of the 66 Nation coalition, assembled by President Obama to unite against the Islamic State threat, has seen in the past year alone, an increase in Islamic State attacks as the terrorist organization seeks to enlarge their territory and boundaries.

The killing of Ambassador Karlov, occurring days before cease fire talks were set to begin, was expected to disrupt the Peace process.

 

CREDIT: AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

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