Last year a Russian plane was shot above the Sinai region, signalling a first direct response from Islamic radicals for further intensifying Russian back up for Assad. Today, 19 December 2016, the Russian-Turkey ambassador was assassinated in broad daylight. While opening a photo exhibit in Ankara and filmed by multiple journalists, Andrey Karlov was shot in his back twice, followed by three more shots. The terrorist shouted: “God is great and don’t forget Aleppo”. Assassinations of this magnitude have not been common in international affairs for the last decades.
With Russia hardline in Aleppo for sure Russia has put themselves at the front of the this so called war on terrorism. Heavy bombings on Syrian rebels in populated areas has created many potential enemies. Easily this can domestically spiral down as some parts of Russia are populated by large groups of Muslims. Moreover Assad’s battle over Aleppo may have been won with Russia’s support, it is not over yet. Syrian rebels and IS control still large parts of Syria and Iraq, the battle for Raqqa will take years to be won.
For now, Putin will respond with force as it is his usual way of response, mixing himself deeper in Middle-East politics and making more probable an attack on Russian home grounds.