The Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot dead by a gunman named Mevlut Mert Altintas, a member of Ankara's police riot squad, during the ambassador's address at an art gallery in Ankara, last night, December 19.
"Allahu Akbar (God is Great). We die in Aleppo, you die here!", these were Alintas' words before shooting the ambassador six times in the back and one shot in close range, which resulted in the immediate death of the ambassador. Alintas also pointed the gun at the spectators and was able to harm three more people, causing minor wounds.
The gunman had a 15 minute-standoff with the police in the area, which led to his death.
Speculation abounds regarding the gunman’s intent. Some say that he may have been a member of Al Nusra, the Syrian arm of notorious terrorist group Al Qaeda. Others interpret this act of violence as a response to the continuing war with the rebels in Aleppo, Syria, which started in July 2012.
As of today Aleppo has suffered an estimated 500,000 casualties, with 80,000 civilians still trapped in the war-torn city.
On the other hand, Putin interprets this act as an act of cowardice and an attempt to hinder the normalisation between the Turkish-Russian diplomatic relationships.
"The crime that was committed is without doubt a provocation aimed at disrupting the normalisation of Russian-Turkish relations and disrupting the peace process." Putin said in an interview with the local media.
Putin also vowed to find the mastermind behind this violence even if it means elevating the war in Syria.
The shooting was very timely. Today, Russia will be hosting the Turkey and Iran ministers’ conference regarding the evacuation of remaining civilians in Aleppo. Both sides have indicated that, regardless of the incident, the two parties would still continue with the conference.
The video will surely go down in history as one of the most iconic acts of violence. It is above all things, dreadful, because it can be seen as the beginning of darker times ahead.
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