Don’t Fear the Terror in Turkey
Phil Giraldi, AmConMag, Dec 19 2016
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov has been shot dead in Ankara by an assailant who was subsequently killed by police. Sources who were present at the scene report that the attacker, dressed in a suit and brandishing a handgun, shouted in Arabic “Allahu Akhbar” followed by screams in Turkish, “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria! Stand back! Stand back! Only death will take me out of here. Anyone who has a role in this oppression will die one by one.” Moscow, Ankara, and the State Dept in Faschingstein are all regarding the killing as a terrorist act. Ankara’s mayor and the Turkish Interior Minister have confirmed that the assailant was a 22-year-old plain-clothes police officer who used his credentials to enter the exhibition hall where the ambassador was opening an exhibition of Russian photographs. The Turkish media is reporting that there was security at the building, both inside and outside, but there appear to have been no special measures like metal detectors in place in spite of the fact that there have been large demonstrations in both Istanbul and Ankara over the past week protesting Russian actions in Aleppo. Some of the demonstrations have occurred in front of the Russian embassy and consulates so security was already at a high level. Most of the demonstrators against Russia have reportedly been Turks, nominally supporting their own country’s foreign policy and ostensibly responding to reports of both Russian and Syrian brutality. Intelligence sources suggest that there has been no indication whatsoever that radical groups like ISIS or al-Nusra had infiltrated the gatherings, though both groups are known to have active cadres in Ankara and Istanbul. Turkey is also now home to more than 2 million refugees from the fighting in Syria but they have been careful to remain apolitical and are monitored closely by the Turkish intelligence service MIT.
Turkish television, which is partially state run and is careful not to offend the government, is speculating that the murder will disrupt a planned Turkish-Russian-Iranian foreign ministers meeting scheduled to start tomorrow in Moscow to discuss the situation in Syria now that Aleppo has fallen. Russia and Turkey are nominally on opposite sides regarding what to do about the government in Damascus, with Moscow continuing to support Bashar al-Assad while Ankara insists that he must be removed. In reality, Turkey has been shifting closer to the Russian position as the facts on the ground have changed, now stressing the need to take steps to prevent the development of any kind of Kurdish fiefdom along the border as the top priority. Russia is apparently willing to participate in shaping resettlement policies that will satisfy Turkish concerns. And the inclusion of Iran in the discussion is a sign that regime change in the near term is no longer being contemplated as a sine qua non. Iran can also be counted on to share Turkey’s concerns over regional separatism as it has its own problem with an indigenous Kurdish terrorist group called the PJAK. Turkey has also been undergoing fundamental political shifts. Erdogan has grown more estranged from Faschingstein and the Europeans due to the negative reaction to his crackdown on alleged supporters of the July coup. That his foreign minister will be meeting with Russia in Moscow to discuss Syria is significant. The Turkish media has been cautiously optimistic about Donald Trump, possibly reflecting a government expectation that he will give Ankara a free hand in dealing with what it perceives to be its Kurdish problem, but Erdogan continues to warn that his country’s alignment with the west is not a given. He has made clear that cultivating warmer relations with Moscow and Beijing is a serious option for Ankara, so it will behoove him to take whatever steps are necessary to reassure Vladimir Putin. Erdogan has already telephoned the Russian president to offer his condolences on the killing and it is likely that the government will declare a state of official mourning over the Ambassador’s death.
In the wake of the killing, most diplomatic missions in Turkey are now in a state of security lockdown. The Pindo Embassy and several European countries have already issued travel advisories in the wake of recent terrorist bombings, suggesting that visitors should exercise caution. These warnings will surely increase in number, further damaging Turkey’s already reeling tourism industry, so it is to be expected that the government will take steps to convince potential visitors that the country is safe. Russia will also likely proceed cautiously. Its government will clearly consider the fact that Ambassador Karlov could have been provided better protection and will discuss specific steps that might be taken regarding treatment of its diplomatic staff, but its objections will be largely pro forma and it will likely not press on the issue very hard as the improved relationship with Ankara is also in its own interest. Turkey, in spite of considerable political turmoil since the 1980s, can also argue that it has an excellent record on protecting foreign diplomats. Both Russia and Turkey will express chagrin over the assassination and their bilateral relationship will undergo some strain but they will also be eager to put the incident behind them. If anything, the death of Ambassador Karlov might well accelerate a rapprochement on what to do about Syria, leaving Pindostan even more isolated in terms of its demand that Assad be compelled to step down.
The assassination of the Russian ambassador and the future of Syria
Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com, Dec 21 2016
If you think the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, the same day terrorist attack in Berlin, and the announcement the next day of an agreement by Russia, Turkey, and Iran to end the Syrian civil war are all a monumental coincidence, then you haven’t been paying attention. Aside from the requisite “Allahu Akbar!”, Mevlut Mert Altintas, the Russian Ambassador’s killer, a police officer, shouted:
Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!
That’s what’s being reported widely, but according to the Daily Mail:
He also said, in Arabic: ’We are the descendants of those who supported the Prophet Muhammad for Jihad.’ According to local media, his words are similar to the unofficial anthem of Jabhat al-Nusra. Some reports claimed he said words to the effect of: ‘We made an oath to die in martyrdom … It is revenge for Syria and Aleppo … Until they are safe, you will not taste safety.’
Erdogan has had to walk a tightrope between the party’s rural fundamentalist supporters and the realities of the Syrian civil war, as the combined might of the Russian-Syrian-Iranian forces has steadily made inroads on the Toad- and Pindo-supported Syrian rebels, which also include Jabhat al-Nusra. With the fall of Aleppo, Erdogan’s turn away from support to the rebels and his focus on defeating Daesh and the Kurds, proved problematic on the home front. With Daesh and the Kurds making gains near the Turkish-Syrian border, Erdogan had no choice but to change course from his previous policy of unconditional support to the Syrian rebels. This led to the necessity of having to forge a separate peace with Russia and Iran, a move that could not have pleased Islamists in his own ruling party. The coup de grace occurred right after the assassination, when the defense and foreign ministers of the three countries met. This statement by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says it all:
All previous attempts by Pindostan and its partners to agree on coordinated actions were doomed to failure. None of them wielded real influence over the situation on the ground, The approval of the declaration at the level of defense and foreign ministers implies our readiness to guarantee and jointly address concrete questions related to resolve Syria.
While the official government line in Ankara is that the killing was the work of Gulenists, the reality is that Altintas was no Gulenist. He was reportedly active in the youth section of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and now there are reports that he was part of Erdogan’s personal security team. It looks like Erdogan has reaped what he has sown. In August, he told TASS that, since Jabhat al-Nusra was fighting ISIS, they “should not be considered a terrorist organization.” As of this writing, no one has taken responsibility for the hit on the Ambassador, but it no doubt came from this milieu. The Syrian catastrophe, and now the Islamist assault on Turkey, is yet another case of deadly “blowback.” For years, Pindostran plus Toad & Thani vassals have been funding “moderate’ Islamists in an effort to overthrow Assad, with Israel a silent partner in this regime change operation. Along with the Western media, which has bought into the myth of the Syrian opposition as a benevolent force, the Toad propaganda machine has been working overtime to portray what is happening in the region as a “holocaust” perpetrated solely by Assad. This is simplistic nonsense of a sort our media is peculiarly susceptible to: they are always looking for Good Guys versus Bad Guys, Innocence versus Evil, in a world made up almost entirely of grays and shades of black. And of course the fact that our own intelligence services, notably the CIA, have been in bed with Syria’s Islamists (all of them “moderates,” to be sure!) may account for the favorable publicity they’ve been getting in the Western media. Now that the jig is up in Syria, expect all of the terrorist factions, ie AQ, Nusra, Daesh etc, to merge into one amorphous mass. They were never that separate to begin with. Also expect that the coming end of the “Caliphate” will result in more not less terrorist attacks in Eurostan & Pindostan. An animal fights harder and lashes out when cornered. Terrorism won’t disappear as long as two factors continue to be operative:
- Western intervention in the Middle East, which fills the ranks of AQ, Daesh &c and
- State sponsorship of terrorist organizations continues unabated. And the biggest culprits aren’t Iran, contra Fox News, but the Toads, Thanis and the rest of the Gulf states, our so-called “allies.” This is the head of the snake. Until and unless it is beheaded, it will continue to strike.