The Russian ambassador to Turkey has been killed in the hail of gunfire recorded on video, according to Russian officials.
While the gunman was also killed, Ambassador Andrei Karlov died from his wounds. He was treated at the scene due to further gunfire which prevented him from being moved.
We have not embedded the video of the shooting here, because the video is graphic (click to watch it).
“Allah Akbar! Do not forget Aleppo!” said the gunman, according to the widely circulated video. “Do not forget Syria! Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria! As long as our lands are not safe, you will not be safe!
Here’s why this, now blatant murder of the top Russian diplomat in a NATO country, is a national security risk and super important to the future.
- Remember, Turkey is a NATO member. The United States is bound by that treaty to defend Turkey under Article V, if Turkey requests such defensive action. Any attack on Turkey is considered an attack on the United States.
- Russia and Turkey are working together in a deal to evacuate civilians and rebel fighters from Aleppo, the biggest flashpoint in the long war between Syrian government forces and rebels. Both Russia and Turkey back Assad, who Obama opposed and actually sided with the rebels.
- Turkey’s new Prime Minister, Binali Yıldırım, was an advisor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and is one of his biggest supporters. Like the arrangement between Dmitry Medvedev and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Yıldırım is expected to help transfer greater power to Erdoğan. Both men are from the Islamist AKP party.
- Russia is heavily involved with its own Islamic insurgency, with Chechen Islamic extremists still regularly hunted down by Moscow puppet Ramzan Kadyrov (the Chechen dictator, who is also a certifiable nutcase who uses Donald Trump as his inspiration).
If there is going to be a showdown over NATO’s effectiveness in the world, it’s going to be in Turkey, over Syria–or in Syria, over Turkey–and involving Russia. That there will be a Russian response to this is not worth debating. Putin won’t do what President Obama would do (read: nothing).
Coming into office, the mess in Syria, which Obama had the largest hand in creating, will be one of the front-and-center items on Trump’s foreign policy and national security plate. The future of NATO, the security of Turkey, Russia’s influence in its Byzantine neighbor, and the fate of millions of war-weary Syrians is all in the balance here.
Oh, and add ISIS, Islamic extremism, and immigration into the mix. Remember that extremist Muslims cry “Allah Akbar!” when they kill each other just as they do when they kill infidels.
President-elect Trump is going to have his hands full on Jan. 21st.