Wednesday, December 28, 2016


The Syrian crisis in Aleppo has been a point of contention between the US, Russia and Turkey for several years now. From the origins of the uprising in the Arab Spring period, the consolidation of Syrian insurgents against President Bashar Al-Assad in eastern Aleppo, the rise of terror group ISIS, the border conflicts that erupted against Turkey and Syrian Kurds, the near-overkill military assistance of Russia for the Assad regime and its ensuing loggerheads with the US, all have contributed into the development of a fragile situation in the Middle East that has got the international community’s tense attention. Now a new complication has further derailed what peace processes and negotiations have been going on.

CNN reports that a tragedy has occurred in the Turkish capital of Ankara as the country’s Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov was brutally gunned down while present as a guest of honor at the opening ceremony of a photo exhibit in the city last Monday December 19. While in the middle of a keynote speech for the “Russia as seen by Turks” exhibition at the Cagdas Sanat Merkezi modern arts center, he was shot multiple times by a lone gunman, identified by Turkish Minister of the Interior Suleyman Soylu in a later press conference as Turkish riot police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas.

Camera footage obtained during the incident showed a nightmarish feature: Ambassador Karlov lurching several times as bullets ripped into his back before falling over backwards from the podium. The camera was then focused on a man wearing a business suit with a gun in his hands, Altintas, waving away the audience and media crews with threats before getting into his spiel. He denounced the Russian involvement with the Syrian crisis, alternatively chanting “Allah Akbar!” and repeating “Do not forget Syria! Do not forget Aleppo!”

Police investigators have discovered that Altintas had been off-duty during the assassination, and had likely infiltrated the photo exhibit during Karlov’s speech by pretending to be added police security. A statement released later indicated that the rogue officer had been “neutralized”, though it did not explain further. However, Altintas’ final statement" Only death will remove me from here. Everyone who has taken part in this oppression will one by one pay for it,"seems to indicate that he did not plan on surviving his actions. Three people were also listed as injured during the incident.

Reactions to the even have run the gamut from the mouths of all world leaders with a stake in it. Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan believes it was an act of provocation aiming to sour ties between his country and Russia. Vladimir Putin on his end vowed to step up measures against terrorists, as the gunman was described by his foreign ministry. The United Nations condemned the assassination while Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said the action was “senseless”.

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