On Monday a Turkish police officer posing as a member of a security detail walked up behind the Russian ambassador to Turkey and shot him in the back at an art gallery in Ankara.
As ambassador Andrei Karlov lay dying on the floor the gunman shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!” The image was captured in photos and video and shared around the world. The gunman injured several others before he was killed by police.
Since Russia entered the Syrian civil war they have claimed they’re only bombing terrorists. Others, including the United States, have accused Vladimir Putin of using his bombs not to attack terrorists, but to prop up Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and killing thousands of civilians. What may complicate matters is that the terrorists may be on the side supported by the United States.
Turkey is not a safe place. Earlier this year they experienced a so-called coup attempt which many claim their president staged to build his support and to punish his enemies. They’ve had three major terror attacks within the last ten days which has followed a month of violence. This is a NATO nation that doesn’t resemble one.
While there’s no justification for terrorism or the killing of diplomats, Putin can find the source of this world-wide scorn in his own mirror. You can’t drop bombs on babies and not expect a backlash. The U.S. has some experience in this area.
Turkey wasn’t the only site of terrorism on Monday. Three people were injured at a Muslim prayer center in Zurich, Switzerland, and at least 12 were killed at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany.
As our next president forges a closer relationship to Russia and perhaps Syria, we may expect some of this backlash to be directed toward us. I wonder where terrorists wishing to make a statement against an American president can find targets throughout the world where there are numerous buildings bearing his name.
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