Salafis, ISIL probably behind Karlov assassination

TEHRAN, Dec. 25 (MNA) – A University of Alabama professor tells Mehr News International Service it is too early to conclude on the possible causes and contributors in assassination of Russian ambassador to Turkey.

Nader Entessar believed that assassination would seek multiple objectives, the most important being to undermine the possible détente between Turkey and Russian. In a hierarchy, Salafis see the Syrian crisis especially in Aleppo gone forever and thus would embark on the retaliation on a player which they believe should be punished, he told Mehr News in a brief interview:

What would be the possible causes of assassination of Russian ambassador to Turkey?

This is still an evolving development, and it is too early to pass a definitive judgment on the assassination of Russia's ambassador to Turkey. Most likely, Russia's policy in Syria and Moscow's pivotal role in inflicting heavy losses to ISIS must have played a role here. It is also possible that those behind the assassination wanted to derail the nascent move towards Moscow-Tehran-Ankara cooperation in the region.

There is a widespread speculation that Russia-Turkey accord on Aleppo is related to the assassination. How do you think of it?

As I indicated in my previous answer, this may be a factor in the assassination of Andrey Karlov. Salafis and their backers could have retaliated in this fashion to sour Turkey-Russia relations and the possible cooperation between Moscow and Ankara.

Would it be the possibility that the assassination sought mainly to deflect the trilateral meeting in Moscow the day after and to exert some impact on possible outcomes of the session?

Yes, of course. ISIS, the other Salafis and their supporters will no doubt do their utmost to create havoc and prevent any regional cooperation that may further isolate and defeat them.

Which group(s) could be implicated as the potential perpetrators and or organizers of the assassination?

It is too early to identify the culprit behind this terrorist act. But the Salafist must be viewed at this time as prime suspects. However, we should not exclude the possibility of other groups, including those inside Turkey, as being the puppet masters of this act.

Nader Entessar is professor of international relations and chairperson of Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at the University of South Alabama.

Interview by: Javad Heirannia 

News Code 122286

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