UPDATES – SPECIAL COVERAGE – LIVE
As the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was gunned down with multiple shots, the shooter shouted “ALLAHU AKBAR!”
- Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed Andrei Karlov’s passing, saying he died as the result of a “terrorist act.”
- Private NTV news channel reports Turkish police fatally shot the gunman.
- It is not clear if anyone else was wounded in the attack, nor the extent of any other injuries.
- The attacker has not been identified.
- The ambassador was several minutes into a speech at an embassy-sponsored photo exhibition in the capital, Ankara, when a man wearing a suit and tie shouted “Allahu Akbar” and fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer in the audience. The attacker also said some words in Russian and smashed several of the photos hung for the exhibition.
Will this assassination trigger World War III?
History to consider…
The attack by Serbian extremists on the heirs to the Austrian throne on June 28, 1914 sparked what was called the “July Crisis” in Europe. A month later, World War I began.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1863 – 1914) and his wife, Sophie (1868 – 1914) had just arrived in Sarajevo after a visit with German Emperor William II (1859 – 1941). They were invited to watch the maneuvers of the Austrian troops in Bosnia. On the way into the city, their procession of cars had to drive relatively slowly, which played into the hands of the attackers that lay in wait.
On July 23, 1914, Austria delivered a 48-hour ultimatum to Belgrade, demanding that Austrian investigators be appointed to pursue those behind the assassination. Even though the Serbian government fulfilled this request as well as various others, the response was not enough for the government in Vienna. Francis Joseph I also backed a declaration of war against Serbia. The chain of diplomatic and military reactions could no longer be halted.
Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. The next day, Russia reacted, mobilizing its army. On July 31, 1914, the German Empire gave France an ultimatum: in the case of a war between Germany and Russia, France was to remain neutral. At the same time, Czar Nicholas II was requested – also per ultimatum – to halt the Russian mobilization. When this ultimatum was ignored and the Russian government did not recall its army, the German military issued a declaration of war against Russia. On August 1, 1914, Emperor William II signed the war declaration.
This day marked the beginning of what the American historian George F. Kennan (1904 – 2005) described as the 20th century’s “seminal catastrophe” – World War I. As if gripped by madness, Europe’s political leaders gave up the continent’s relative wealth, stable political relations and cultural hegemony over large parts of the world in the summer of 1914. In what seemed to be some sort of secret pact, the crowned rulers of Europe transformed the continent into a battlefield of unimagined proportions, all because of an incident which was insignificant in comparison to its consequences. They were entranced by the prospect of what they stood to gain at the end of the war, and didn’t hear the foreboding voices warning them of their own demise.
Reported by Jim Lantern in Norman, Oklahoma
LANTERN TIMEGLASS JOURNAL
11:30am CT Monday, 19 December 2016
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