Turkey police kills Russian ambassador in Turkey

A Turkish police officer who angrily denounced the bloodshed in Syria killed the Russian ambassador to Turkey in Ankara on Monday, shooting the diplomat in front of a room full of horrified spectators at an art gallery in an assassination captured on video and quickly shared around the world.
As the ambassador, Andrei Karlov, lay on the floor, the assailant, still waving his gun, screamed, “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!”

The shooting was among the most brazen retaliatory attacks yet on Russia since Moscow entered the war in Syria on the side of President Bashar al-Assad, and unleashed a bombardment on Aleppo that has drawn international condemnation for what observers on the ground have called indiscriminate attacks on civilians.

But in Moscow, where the Kremlin has maintained that its aerial sorties and missile attacks have exclusively targeted “terrorists,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry called the shooting “a terrorist attack,” and President Vladi­mir
Putin called it a “provocation aimed at rupturing ties between Russia and Turkey.”
“The only answer to the murder of the Russian ambassador to Turkey must be the intensification of the struggle against terrorism,” Putin said in nationally televised remarks. “And the bandits will feel it.”

 Putin ordered his major crime investigative unit to work with Turkish authorities, who identified the gunman as 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintas, an officer with the riot police.

In the video, Altintas, dressed incongruously in a black suit and tie, shouts, “We are those who pledged jihad to Muhammad!” Referring to Syria, he added, “Every single person who has a share in this atrocity will pay for it!”
Several other people were wounded in the attack, which came as Karlov was speaking at the opening of an exhibit of Russian photos, but their identities were not immediately made public.

Altintas was killed in a shootout with police at the gallery, but Russian authorities vowed to reveal a larger plot — and some in Moscow suggested that the West was to blame for its support of moderate rebel factions in Syria.
Putin stopped short of that, saying only, “We need to know who guided the hand of the murderer.”

Tom Lori Published by Tom Lori

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