Leftist Turkish Group DHKP-C Claims Responsibility for U.S. Embassy Bombing
On Saturday, a Turkish leftist group known as DHKP-C claimed responsibility for the suicid bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on Friday. The group posted a statement on a website close to them, in which they claimed to have perpetrated the attack.
A statement on "The People's Cry" website said:
"Our warrior Alisan Sanli carried out an act of self-sacrifice on Feb 1, 2013, by entering the Ankara embassy of the United States, murderer of the peoples of the world."
Posted along with the statement was a picture of what was said to be a picture of the bomber dressed in a black beret and military-style clothes with an explosives belt strapped around his waist.
The attacker in Anarka detonated explosives that were strapped to his body and a hand grenade inside an embassy gatehouse. The attack killed the bomber and a Turkish security guard, and critically wounded a journalist who was on her way to visit with the ambassador.
The DHKP-C is a terrorist group and Marxist-Leninist party that strongly opposes any U.S. or NATO influence over foreign policy in Turkey. Over the course of the past few decades, the group has targeted a series of Western and Turkish officials, businessmen, and professors with suicide bombings.
The group was much more popular during the 1970s and 1980s, and has lost a lot of its influence since then. However, Turkey's recent cooperation with the U.S. on Syria could have given the group a new life. It is said that Friday's attacks may have been prompted by Turkey's cooperation with the U.S. in preventing spillover from Syria's civil war in Turkey.
Turkey is a key ally with the U.S. in the Middle East. The two countries share common interests such as counter-terrorism and energy security, and Turkey has been one of the leading advocates of foreign intervention to end the conflict in nearby Syria. Over the past few weeks, over 400 U.S. soldiers have arrived in Turkey to operate Patriot anti-missile batteries designed to defend against any spillover of Syria's civil war.
It is also possible that the attack may have been retaliation for the detention of more than 40 DHKP-C members by Turkish police last month, but this wouldn't explain why the suicide bombing took place at the U.S. embassy
It is also said that a DHKP-C splinter group known as the "Urgent Ones" has been trying to stir up sectarian conflict around Turkey in the hopes that the Turkish government will abandon its anti-Assad policy.