June 29th, 2016.
Heavy casualties After Multiple Blasts Strike Istanbul Airport.
At least 36 people are dead and more than 100 injured following a series of explosions at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.
The specific details of the attack remain unclear but it is claimed that at least two and possibly as many as four people wearing explosive vests or belts entered the International terminal and detonated their explosives.
One eyewitness stated that the suicide bombers tried to shoot their way past the airport security before detonating their devices.
“We came right to international departures and saw the man randomly shooting. He was just firing at anyone coming in front of him. He was wearing all black. His face was not masked. I was 50 metres away from him,” said Paul Roos, 77, a South African tourist on his way back to Cape Town with his wife.”
“We ducked behind a counter but I stood up and watched him. Two explosions went off shortly after one another. By that time he had stopped shooting,” Roos said.
“He turned around and started coming towards us. He was holding his gun inside his jacket. He looked around anxiously to see if anyone was going to stop him and then went down the escalator … We heard some more gunfire and then another explosion, and then it was over.” (Source)
A Crowded Roster of Enemies.
Turkey has been targeted numerous times over the past twelve months by a variety of groups including those purporting to represent Kurdish separatists and the Islamic State group. So far this year Istanbul has been targeted by two major bomb attacks with ISIS claiming the January attack on the Sultanahmet tourist district that killed largely German tourists and the jihadists also being blamed for the March attack that left at least 5 dead after a bomber blew himself up in an Istanbul street.
There has not been any claim of responsibility for the latest attack.but it seems inevitable that ISIS will be blamed and given that this was a highly effective attack on the Turkish economy in the middle of the Northern Hemisphere tourist season and the fact that the group have been largely abandoned by their Turkish sponsors in recent times, they or a like-minded group were probably responsible.
The Turkish state has also been involved in a small-scale war against Kurdish separatists since Turkey renewed military operations against Kurdish groups folloewing the Suruc attack of July 2015 upon Kurdish youth activists.
The attack comes as the Turkish government have been working to repair recently damaged ties with Russia. Turkey’s economy has experienced a more than 80% reduction in Russian tourists following Turkey’s premeditated attack on A Russian warplane last November. The recent apology to Russia was intended to remedy this situation so the attack could not have come at a worse time for the Turkish government.
The footage immediately available of this event with the multiple ambulances, dead bodies and CCTV footage stands in stark contrast to what we have seen after the recent attack in Orlando and the Brussels airport attack.
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