Reporting on an incident sure to have major international repercussions, major news sources are indicating that Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was assassinated earlier today in the Turkish capitol of Ankara.
Ambassador Andrey Karlov was in the middle of a speech when a young man in a suit allegedly opened fire. News reporters on the scene reportedly snapped footage of the incident, shouting “Allah Akbar” before he was “neutralized” by security forces.
While there is no shortage of people and groups in Turkey who would love to cause harm to Russia, it is unclear who carried out the attack, and why. Given his comments, it appears that the suspect may have Islamist sympathies. But details so far are very limited.
While the identity and motivations of the shooter are currently unknown, what is certain is that it is very likely to further exacerbate tensions between NATO member Turkey and the Russian Federation. Assassination of an ambassador is, of course, considered an act of war.
Relations between the two countries have been frosty since Russia intervened to prop up the Syrian government, which Turkey seeks to topple. Turkey also shot down a Russian fighter jet that repeatedly strayed into Turkish airspace. While the Turkish government likely had nothing to do with this attack, the fact that it was unable to protect the Russian ambassador will have major repercussions.