An off-duty Turkish policeman shot and killed Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov in Ankara today. The shooter shouted, among other things, “Remember Aleppo. Remember Syria.” The Russian Foreign Ministry called it an act of terror. Of course it was that. Presumably, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey is an innocent civilian.
Notably, killing thousands of innocent civilians in Aleppo with barrel bombs, chlorine gas and white phosphorus incendiary munitions is not terrorism. It’s a war crime. A war crime committed with the help of Russian President Vladimir Putin freely given to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s. Russia supplies the jets and undoubtedly much of the munitions used against Aleppo. Russian jets flown by Russian pilots also strike Syrian targets. Putin says they’re targeting ISIS combatants. Only Donald Trump believes that. It takes a liar to believe a liar, one must assume. Oh, sorry, this is about Putin and Russia today, not Trump.
It’s a pity that the Ambassador should pay for Putin and Assad’s criminal behavior, but karma is what it is. He did choose to work for Putin. One day Putin’s karma will come due for Putin himself.
In ISIS controlled territory within Syria, women are required to be covered from head to toe. Among the five Arab countries participating in strikes on ISIS positions within Syria, United Arab Emirates (UAE) sent squadron leader Major Mariam Al Mansouri on the bombing run. Learning of this must set the hair aflame on the heads of the ISIS wackos. Western news media, in the meantime is happy to supply the story. See more on this from the New York Times.
John McCain says the US should take the lead, but not unilaterally, in defending Syrian civilians by initiating airstrikes against Assad’s brutal military. From a Buddhist perspective, I normally prefer the pacifistic approach. On the other hand, it is most certainly legitimate to defend innocents by attacking and even killing those who would kill them. The question is whether US led airstrikes is the the way to do that. With the memory of the world failing to stop the bloodshed in Rwanda, it is clear something needs to be done. To assert that eventually Assad will fall, as the Obama administration is publicly stating while no doubt working behind the scenes to make that happen sooner, is not enough. China and Russia prevent UN Security Council action. But stopping Assad doesn’t have to be a UN sponsored activity. What it does need to be is a regionally led, preferably Arab, response. The US can supply arms, planes and especially humanitarian aid. But it can’t take the lead. If it does, it invites Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to play too large a role in a subsequent government. They are already there, among the rebels, according to many intelligence sources. They may not be the core of rebels, but they are a part of a multifaceted group opposed to Assad.