A terrorist opened fire on a famous Istanbul nightclub Saturday, marking the fourth major Turkish terror attack in less than a month.
The popular Reina club was reportedly full of nearly 600 people when a gunman dressed in a Santa suit killed nearly 40 people with a Kalishnikov rifle. The crowd was rife with foreigners with nearly eight different nationalities represented among the dead.
“They are working to destroy our country’s morale and create chaos by deliberately targeting our nation’s peace and targeting civilians with these heinous attacks,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters after the attack “Turkey is determined to continue to fight to the end against terror and to do whatever is necessary to ensure the security of its citizens and secure peace in the region.”
The attack was likely carried out by elements of the Islamic State, which have long targeted Turkish soft targets in retaliation for Turkey’s ongoing anti-ISIS campaign in Syria. In December, a Turkish special forces police officer gunned down Russia’s ambassador to Turkey in cold blood, in an apparent Islamic terror incident. In another recent incident, dozens were killed at an Istanbul soccer stadium Dec 10.
Turkey is also beset by attacks carried out by Kurdish terror organizations that have plagued Turkish security forces for decades. Part of Turkey’s ongoing military campaign in Syria is to deny Kurdish minority groups a de-facto state along Turkey’s border.
ISIS media has made a point of singling out Turkey in its latest propaganda saying “Turn their happiness and joy into grieves,” continuing “and their feasts into funerals.”
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