White House: Ankara Suicide Bombing a Terror Attack
The White House condemned Friday’s suicide bombing outside the U.S. embassy in Ankara as a “terrorist attack.”
“We strongly condemn what was a suicide attack against our embassy in Ankara, which took place at the embassy's outer security perimeter,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Friday.
“A suicide bombing on the perimeter of an embassy is by definition an act of terror. It is a terrorist attack,” he added.
"However, we do not know at this point who is responsible or the motivations behind the attack. The attack itself is clearly an act of terror,” Carney said, adding that the United States would work closely with Turkish authorities “to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
A security guard was killed in the blast which rocked the embassy in Ankara on Friday afternoon. The suicide bomber was also killed.
Previous reports indicated that two security guards had died in the blast, but this was later corrected to indicate that the second death was the suicide bomber. One person was wounded in the blast.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday evening that the suicide bomber was a member of an outlawed leftist group. Carney's statement did not acknowledge this.
Erdogan’s statement confirmed reports claiming the bomber was a 30-year-old member of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). The suspect, identified as Ecevit Sanlı, has previously spent time in prison, according to the Turkish daily Hurriyet.
Erdogan also played down claims that the attack might be related to Turkey’s position on the Syrian crisis, saying, “I don't see this connection as likely. You know that the DHKP/C made some other attempts lately, but Turkey is taking steps against terrorism as well.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the attack in Ankara, saying he was shocked by it.
In a letter he sent to U.S. President Barack Obama, Netanyahu wrote, “I am shocked by the attack. Such acts of violence remind us of the danger those who courageously represent us abroad are exposed to, and the threats on the part of those who oppose freedom. Our hearts are with the American people.”
Netanyahu also expressed his condolences to the Turkish people but did not send a similar letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose relations with the government in Jerusalem have been strained for several years.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)