At a photo exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, a man opened fire and killed the 62-year-old Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov while he was in the middle of a speech.
The suspect fired a total of about nine rounds, including one close-range shot which the murderer fired when the ambassador was on the ground. Three others were wounded during the attack. Police later killed the suspect.
During his attack, he yelled, “Allahu Akbar!” and “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!” He also exclaimed, “We are the descendants of those who supported the Prophet Muhammad, for jihad.”
Ankara’s mayor Melih Gokcek said he believed the assassination was aimed at disrupting the newly-reconciled relationship between Russia and Turkey.
The Associated Press mentioned that their relationship had been strained when Russian warplanes had been shot down by Turkish authorities after they were spotted near the Turkey-Syria border. Turkish defense officials formally apologized to Russia. The AP reported, “The attack comes a day before a meeting of Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign and defense ministers in Moscow to discuss Syria.”
In the ongoing civil war in Syria, Russia and Iran both back Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey backs the rebel forces against Assad. These rebel forces have been mixed in with numerous terrorist groups which have been armed by the U.S. and its Middle Eastern allies.
Russia and Turkey have co-sponsored the evacuation of civilians and rebels from Aleppo and also discussed the prospect of organizing a new round of peace talks in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.
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