The brutal killing of an ambassador is always cause for alarm. Given the tinderbox that is the Middle East, what happened in Turkey the other day is more so.
Andrei Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Ankara, was shot in cold blood by an off-duty Turkish policemen, apparently as an act of revenge against Russia because of its involvement in Syria. All the usual Islamist fingerprints were there: right after he shot Karlov, he yelled in Arabic “Allahu akbar!” It doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to figure out what animates “votaries of Mohammed” (as Winston Churchill wrote over a century ago). To be sure, the animus against Russia was exacerbated by the detente that has developed beteen Russia and Turkey.
Fortunately, it did not have the desired effect. President Recep Erdogan immediately phoned Vladimir Putin and expressed profound regret. Sources say that Putin accepted his apologies and is convinced of the Turkish president’s sincerity in this matter. It is clear that Erdogan was shaken by the event.
Cooler heads in the Kremlin prevailed. The detente between Russia and Turkey remains in place, at least for the time being. The fact that both sides are whispering that America or NATO had something to do with it doesn’t bode well for us.
Regardless, there can be no doubt that the Kremlin is planning its revenge. It is likely that military assets are being put into place. My guess is that Putin is biding his time until President-elect Trump takes office.
Geostrategically, this gives Russia and Assad an even stronger hand to play in Syria. Although it’s not likely that the US or NATO had anything to do with it, the assassination, along with Obama’s incessant devotion to Saudi Arabia and its agents throughout the world, erases any reason for believing that Washington is an honest broker in the Middle East.
We shall see how this plays out. In the meantime, this atrocity will not only restrict Turkey’s range of movement within Syria but the State Department’s as well.
In the meantime, Monomakhos goes dark until the New Year (unless events warrant otherwise). To all on the new calendar, have a merry and blessed Christmas!