Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was shot and killed while speaking at an art exhibit in Ankara on Monday. Video was captured of the event where the gunman Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş was shown firing multiple bullets into Karlov from behind as the ambassador was speaking to the group gathered at the exhibit hall. Later police shot and killed Altintas who was identified as 22-year-old off duty police officer .
The gunman allegedly shouted “God is great!” in Arabic and “don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!” in Turkish among other phrases following his act of violence.
This event comes at a time when tensions already run high between Russia and Turkey. In 2015 the Turks shot down a Russian plane near the Syrian border which led to increased anxiety between the two nations. The situation in Aleppo, Syria only exacerbates an already strenuous situation in the region.
Being a member of NATO, the United States is obligated under treaty to defend the nation in the event of an attack, making the dialogue between the Turkish and Russian governments very important and high stakes.