An assassination and terror attack yesterday have some people wondering if the world is teetering on the edge of a global conflict. During an art exhibition held in Ankara, Turkey, a young and well-dressed off-duty police officer named Mevlut Mert Altintas fired several shots at Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov, killing him. With Karlov’s lifeless body on the floor beside him, he shouted in Turkish and Arabic, “Don’t forget about Aleppo. Don’t forget about Syria. As long as our lands are not safe, you will not taste safety. Only death will take me out of here. Anyone who has a role in this oppression, they will all die one by one.” The shooter was shot dead by Turkish security forces minutes later. The assassination comes at a time when relations between Russia and Turkey are improving and talks were being held regarding a ceasefire in Syria.
The shooter was shot dead by Turkish security forces minutes later. The assassination comes at a time when relations between Russia and Turkey are improving and talks were being held regarding a ceasefire in Syria.
In Berlin, Germany, 12 people were killed and another 48 injured when a man in a truck plowed into a crowded shopping plaza. The driver was originally identified as Naved B, who entered the country under a false name in 2015 and was seeking asylum as the driver. Police now say that he was not involved in the attack and the suspect is still on the loose. The suspect hijacked the truck from a nearby construction site and killed the driver whose body was found inside the truck cab. He then turned off the lights on the truck and headed towards a crowd packed Breitscheidplatz Square, outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the German capital’s main shopping area. The truck was travelling at least 40mph as it jumped the pavement, striking a crowd of people. The driver then swerved the speeding truck into those who were trying to escape. One witness stated that people were sent flying into the air like bowling pins from the impact of the truck. The driver then jumped out the truck and fled the scene,
President Obama is on vacation with his family in Hawaii and was made aware of the attacks but has not issued an official statement.
President-elect Trump released the following statement: “Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today’s horrifying terror attack in Berlin. Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday. ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad. These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners.”
The continuing conflict in Syria has caused a humanitarian crisis as the country’s population has fled. Thousands are trapped in the city of Aleppo, which is under siege by government forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. The Assad regime is being supported by Russia with airstrikes that have increased the suffering of civilians. Rebels in the city affiliated with ISIS and are using civilians as human shields during the attacks. Attempts at evacuating civilians from the city are underway but are being hampered by sporadic fighting. Fleeing civilians are stating that government forces are arresting and separating men from their families as well as taking bribes and stealing. The United States and other countries are taking in many of these displaced people; however, some are opposed to allowing more refuges into the US. One such person is President-elect Trump, who has at times called for an outright ban on Muslim refugees entering the U.S.