Shots fired at U.S. embassy in Turkish capital, no casualties

Gunshots were fired early Monday at the US embassy in Ankara but caused no casualties, Turkish and American officials said, amid escalating tensions between the two countries
Monday, 20 August 2018 16:58

Shots were fired from a moving car at the U.S. Embassy in Turkey before dawn on Monday, an attack that came during heightened tensions between the two countries.

The U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara came under brief gunfire early on Monday but nobody was hurt in the fleeting attack, in which three of the six bullets that were fired hit the embassy gate and a reinforced window.

"We have no reports of any injuries and we are investigating the details. We thank the Turkish National Police for their rapid response," embassy spokesman David Gainer said.

Turkey's interior minister Süleyman Soylu said police and intelligence units were searching for the car and suspects. "Is it a provocation following recent events or is it a common crime or is it an attempt to provoke by dressing it up as a petty crime?" he added.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu condemned the "provocative attack" in a message on Twitter. "We will make sure that this incident is investigated quickly and the perpetrators are brought to justice," he said. 

"We condemn the attack on the US Embassy. This is an apparent attempt to create chaos. Turkey is a safe country, and all the foreign missions are protected by law. The incident is being investigated, and everything will be clarified in near future," Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın wrote on Twitter.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the consulate in Istanbul have in the past been the targets of attacks by militants.

Relations between Turkey and the United States have become increasingly strained in recent weeks, with tit-for-tat tariffs imposed partly due to the trial of a U.S. Christian pastor, Andrew Brunson.