US not ruling out ‘terrorist involvement’ in assassination of Karlov: Kirby
WASHINGTON – Anadolu AgencyThe U.S. is not ruling out terrorist involvement in the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Ankara, the State Department said on Dec.20.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said it is “too early” to draw a conclusion about the killing of Andrey Karlov, who was shot multiple times at an art exhibition in Ankara.
Kirby also dismissed any accusations the U.S. may have been involved in Karlov’s assassination.
“I don’t think it’s helpful for anybody to prejudge the outcomes of this investigation. There’s a diplomat now who is dead and a family that is going through an incredibly tough time. I think that’s where we need to stay focused, not on needlessly pointing fingers until the investigation has had a chance to work its way through,” he added.
“We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” Kirby said.
The assailant, identified as 22-year-old riot police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, was killed by police special forces at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in the central Çankaya district of Ankara.
Turkish officials say an investigation is underway into Altıntaş’s motives, though reports in media have already linked him to U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, believed to have orchestrated the failed July 15 coup attempt in Turkey.