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Who ordered the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey?

December 20, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Who ordered the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey?

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Moment gunman executes Russian ambassador to Turkey. **WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

Monday’s shocking assassination of a Russian official in Turkey could have resulted from a number of sources.

The brutal, complex war involving Turkey, Syria, and Russia, along with a dozen other combatants, became more complicated on Monday after Andrey Karlov Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was shot and killed.

Karlov was fatally shot as he was giving a speech at an art gallery in the Turkish capital.

Turkey’s interior minister confirmed the lone gunman, identified as 22-year-old Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş was a Turkish Police officer.

Russian Ambassador moments before his assassination on Monday

Altıntaş was killed by security forces after he shot the ambassador five times in the back.

Footage from the scene exhibited a screaming man in a black suit standing over the ambassador with a gun.

There was no direct confirmation about the suspect’s motives or possible affiliations — but several organizations in the region hold strong animosity toward Turkey and Russia.

In neighboring Syria and throughout Muslim society, citizens are outraged at Russia for attacking Aleppo, which has suffered thousands of causalities in the civil war against Bashar al-Assad.

“Russia has been on the wrong side from the start” in the war, especially because most of the victims of the Assad administration are Sunni Muslims, and Sunnis are a vast majority of Muslims in the Arab world and Turkey, retired U.S. General Barry McCaffrey said in an interview with CNBC.

A producer for NBC, who observed the shooting, said the attacker addressed Ambassador Karlov in Russian before he shouted: “Allahu akbar” in Arabic. The Associated Press also reported that the suspect roared about Aleppo, in Turkish.

ISIS is yet another enemy of both Russia and Turkey. The two countries have collaborated in fits and starts over the past year against the terror group, which controls whole regions in Syria. Additionally, ISIS has carried out a surge of deadly bombings in Turkey this year.

“There’s no question that this is yet another display of Erdogan not having adequate control of the security within his borders,” Ian Bremmer said, who is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, a global risk consulting organization.

Gunman executed by lone gunman identified as a Turkish Police officer

Domestic security has grown to become a significant problem for Turkey, which houses about 2 million Syrian refugees.

Bremmer indicated that Erdogan made a bad situation worse by imprisoning many of his leading generals after a failed coup attempt shook the country back in July.

Erdogan may have removed threats to his power by apprehending military leaders and thousands of other people, but he also made his army less efficient.

Monday’s shooting adds yet another complicated layer to an intricate relationship between Russia and Turkey.

Erdogan was infuriated with Russia when it first entered the war, and Turkey shot down a Russian warplane flying over its airspace back in June.

However, Erdogan changed his tone with Russia almost instantly after the coup effort. On the night of the attempt, Russia tipped off Erdogan about rare movements among Turkish military units, Bremmer stated, which potentially saved the Turkish president’s life.

Karlov’s assassination is unlikely to dramatically change anything in the war-struck country. A Russian parliamentarian told the Interfax news agency that the murder would not disturb scheduled talks between Russia, Iran, and Turkey in Moscow.

“The Russians will express their gravest possible concerns, and Erdogan will use this as an excuse to crack down on political enemies,” Bremmer stated.

A Turkish security official was linking the assassination to a U.S.-based cleric whom it has previously blamed for its civil strife.

McCaffrey referred to the execution of one ambassador as unfortunate but only a “footnote” in the extent of the broader war.

“The much larger issue is a half million dead in Syria,” he added.

Turkey has also grappled with a steep decrease in foreign investment and a plunging currency that has lost 20% of its value against the dollar this year.

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