Berlin attack part of global jihad against Christians, says Trump

A file photo of Donald Trump.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The U.S President-elect Donald Trump on Monday termed the terror attack in Germany a part of a global jihad against Christians and called the assassin of the Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov to Turkey a “radical Islamic terrorist” even as the Obama administration condemned the incidents in a more measured tone.

The State Department spokesperson did not rule out terrorism as a motive behind the assassination of the Russian envoy, saying the administration would wait for more information before making a more definitive comment.

On the attack in Berlin, the spokesperson, John Kirby, said, "We are deeply saddened by today’s horrendous events at a Christmas market in Berlin. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members of those killed, and we hope for a speedy recovery for the many injured. The United States stands firmly with the German people during this time of national sadness, and we offer any support they may require."

Echoes campaign rhetoric

Mr. Trump’s statements on the incidents echoed the campaign rhetoric that fuelled his rise and signalled a willingness to follow it up with changes in the U.S policy on fighting Islamist terrorism.

“ISIS [Islamic State] and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians and their places of worship as part of their global jihad,” Mr. Trump said in a statement on the violence in Berlin that claimed the lives of at least 12 people. “Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday. These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners.”

In a separate statement on the assassination of Mr. Karlov, Mr. Trump said: “Today we offer our condolences to the family and loved ones of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, who was assassinated by a radical Islamic terrorist. The murder of an ambassador is a violation of all rules of civilised order and must be universally condemned.”

In a tweet later, the President-elect said: “Today there were terror attacks in Turkey, Switzerland and Germany - and it is only getting worse. The civilized world must change thinking!”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly called for U.S cooperation with Russia and a softer approach toward the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria in the fight against Islamist radicals. The assassin of the Russian ambassador reportedly cited the Russian support for Mr. Assad as the provocation for his action.

Obama blames Russia, Assad

Two days ago, President Barack Obama blamed Russia and Mr. Assad for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the city of Aleppo that the regime is trying to seize from the rebels. The Syrian leader, meanwhile, is hoping to find an ally in Mr. Trump. The President-elect said last week at a rally in Pennsylvania that he would get the “Gulf States to give us lots of money,” and “we’ll build and help build safe zones in Syria, so people can have a chance.”

The assassination of the Russian ambassador happened on the eve of a meeting of the foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia and Iran, on the Syrian crisis. Russia and Turkey have termed the assassination an effort to derail their bilateral relations, while some Turkish officials have linked it to Fethullah Gülen, a U.S based detractor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Asked whether the U.S was concerned about the “inevitable claims from some parts of Turkey that either the U.S. is somehow responsible or that its protection of Mr. Gulen is somehow involved in this [assassination],” Mr. Kirby said: “We always have – and continue to support the democratically elected government of Turkey, and any suggestion that the United States in any way, shape, or form would be responsible for this act of murder and assassination…obviously flies in the face of facts.”

Mr. Kirby also welcomed the tripartite meet on Syria. “…any solutions that can be arrived by any of the parties that can lead to a reduction in the bloodshed, to a cessation of hostilities, to humanitarian aid, and to a resumption of political talks is welcome, whether or not we’re at the table,” he said.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 6:11:11 PM |

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