Submitted by Vijay Prashad on Thu, 12/22/2016 - 00:40

<Assassination> Russia's ambassador to Turkey - Andrei Karlov - was killed today in Ankara by a gunman ((Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş) at a photo exhibition at Cagdas Sanat Merkezi modern arts center - steps away from US embassy. The gunman's statement was about Aleppo. He quoted a section from a Hadith (reported in Sahih al-Bukhari), 'We are those who have pledged allegiance to Prophet Mohammed, to carry out jihad for as long as we live'. He was a police officer. Speculations run rife from various Turkish officials - that he was a member of the Turkish affiliate of al-Nusra, that he was a Gulenist, that he was a 'martyr'. Hopefully a sober investigation will uncover the story of the killing. The killer was shot on the scene. The Russians have called him a terrorist.

This murder came a week after two bombings in Istanbul killed 44 people, including 37 police officers.

The meeting to be held in Moscow between Russia, Turkey and Iran on Syria will go ahead as planned. The Turkish foreign minister will leave for Moscow soon.

Hope sober heads prevent an escalation into further violence.

The photo of the killer was taken by Burhan Ozbilici of the Associated Press.