During a speech at a photo exhibition in the Turkish capital Ankara, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot dead in an attack which injured three others.
Several minutes into the speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition, a man wearing a suit got up and fired roughly eight shots hitting the ambassador in the back. The gunman also reportedly shouted: “We die in Aleppo, you die here.”
Despite a lot of tension of late, particularly on the issue of how the resolve the growing problems in Aleppo, the international community has been united in its condemnation of the attack. President Erdoğan “strongly” condemned the assassination. He reassured, his Russian counterparts saying “both Turkey and Russia have the will not to be deceived by this provocation”.
The NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted:
I condemn the killing of Russia’s amb to Turkey. My condolences to his family & Russian people. No justification for such a heinous act.
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) December 19, 2016
British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson shared the sentiment, tweeting:
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 19, 2016
The US National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said,
“this heinous attack on a member of the diplomatic corps is unacceptable, and we stand united with Russia and Turkey in our determination to confront terrorism in all of its forms.”
Many others also sent their condolences, from the Qatar, to Azerbaijan and even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. This has led to a sober, and considered response from the Russian Federation which has recognised the attack as a provocation to undermine Russo-Turkish cooperation in Syria. This attack happens on the eve of the Trilateral Summit in Moscow, between Turkey, Iran and Russia to discuss the possibilities of comprehensive nationwide ceasefire, to allow entry for humanitarian aid, and relief workers in Syria.