MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Monday, Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas shot dead Karlov at an art gallery exhibition opening in Ankara. The Russian Foreign Ministry described the attack as an act of terrorism. The gunman was killed at the scene by the police.
"Russia and Iran have put the most efforts to minimize civilian casualties during the liberation of Aleppo. But propaganda of our enemies, of Aleppo liberation opponents, who have in fact created this crisis in the region, has resulted in such a barbarous murder of the honored diplomat," Hossein Sheikholeslam said.
Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, following the protests that had turned violent, as part of the so-called Arab Spring. Over the recent months, Aleppo became a major battleground in Syria. On December 16, the Russian Defense Ministry's center for Syrian reconciliation said that the Syrian army operation to liberate the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo was over, and that the Syrian government troops were eliminating separate hotbeds of militant resistance.
Soon after the liberation of Aleppo's parts controlled by militants several anti-Russian rallies were held near the buildings of the Russian diplomatic missions in both Istanbul and Ankara.