Russian ambassador to Turkey killed days after start of coordination on Syria
The Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, has been killed after he was attacked while giving a speech at an art gallery in Ankara. He reportedly died of gunshot wounds shortly afterwards.
This development comes barely three days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the possibility of a Russian and Turkish initiative to end the Syrian conflict without the involvement of the US or the UN.
Turkey’s Anadolu Agency said the suspected gunman in the attack had been “neutralized” while according to Reuters, security sources confirmed that he was an off duty policeman.
Videos circulating online show an attacker pacing and waving while shouting “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria.” with screaming in the background.
The fact that the attack took place following the announcement of possible bilateral talks on a total cease-fire in Syria, and while successful coordination on evacuating civilians from Aleppo was ongoing does bring into question the attacker’s reportedly declared motive of solidarity with Syria.
Reuters reports indicate that the suspected gunman stood behind the diplomat and shot him initially in the back.
While the Russian Foreign Ministry has made it clear that they are treating the matter as a terrorist attack, no group has taken responsibility for the incident.
Based on reporting by Reuters, RFE/RL, and other agencies.