Turkish interior minister Moammer Guler identified the suicide bomber who detonated an explosive Friday, Feb. 1 at the US embassy in Ankara killing a Turkish security guard as Ecevit Sanli, 31, a member of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), a left-wing terrorist group outlawed in Turkey. He was released from Turkish jail eight months ago. debkafile: The DHKP/C, which is associated with Lebanese terrorist groups and Syrian left-wing factions, was suspected of the attack in Burgas, Bulgaria last July, which left five Israeli tourists dead.
Sanli died detonating his explosive at a side entrance of the US embassy in Ankara Friday, Feb. 1, sending embassy staff diving into fortified shelters as smoke and debris rose in clouds over the fortified compound.
A former broadcast journalist Didem Tuncay was seriously injured in the attack.
Local TV showed damage to a compound wall and a smashed embassy building window. No organization has taken responsibility for the attack.
debkafile’s counter-terror sources estimate that it was the work either of al Qaeda, Syrian intelligence or Hizballah, possibly as part of the payback for Israel’s air strike Wednesday against the Jamraya military complex near Damascus. That complex served both Hizballah and the Syrian army and Syria has already threatened retribution on the scale of an earthquake. It may also have been retaliation for the stationing of US Patriot missiles on the Turkish Syrian border and the meeting arranged for US Vice President Joe Biden with the Syrian opposition leader Mouaz Alkhatib in Munich, Germany.
Plenty of warnings have issued from Tehran on all these counts.
On Dec. 15, Iran’s armed forces chief Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi warned that the deployment of American anti-missile batteries in Turkey could cause a world war. Last Saturday, Jan. 26, Ali Akbar Velayati, a close aide of the Iranian supreme leader, declared that attacking Syria was tantamount to attacking Iran.
Israel’s air strike may have been the last straw for Tehran, which warned the “Tel Aviv regime” would suffer “grave consequences.”
By targeting the US embassy in Turkey, the Iranians and their allies may have been starting to hit back for all these grievances at the same time: the Israeli attack, the Patriots and Washington’s support for the Syrian opposition.
If that is so, then the suicide bombing attack on the US embassy in Ankara won’t be the last act of terror planned by Syria, Hizballah and Iran, and it would not be the first time they have hired or enlisted local hit-men or sympathisers for an terrorist operation.
Israel has accused Hizballah of being behind the Burgas attack.
The Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah alliance has targeted US interests in Turkey for terrorist attacks before. On Aug. 21, 2012, seven months ago, a large bomb car blew up in the southern Turkish town of Gaziantep near the Syrian border, killing eight people and injuring at least 66.
No findings were ever released from the investigation of that incident. According to our sources, the bomb car was rigged by a terrorist cell serving Syrian military intelligence in collaboration with Hizballah, like many other political hits carried out in Lebanon over the years. The Gaziantep attack was directed against the command center established in that town for US intelligence and special forces alongside a Free Syrian Army center.