Syria denounces 'despicable' murder of Russian envoy

AFP , Monday 19 Dec 2016

Syria on Monday condemned the murder in neighbouring Turkey of the ambassador of its key ally Russia as a "despicable crime", state news agency SANA said, quoting the foreign ministry.

"The Syrian republic condemns in the strongest terms the cowardly terrorist attack that led to the death of the Russian ambassador in Turkey, Andrei Karlov," a ministry statement said.

"This despicable crime confirms once again the urgent need to expand all efforts and means to fight and eliminate terrorism," it added.

Russia is Syria's main ally in the nearly six-year war, and has helped President Bashar al-Assad's forces to retake the battleground northern city of Aleppo from rebels.

On September 30, 2015, Russia began a campaign of air strikes in Syria to help government forces.

The gunman who shot Moscow's envoy at an art exhibition in Ankara shouted "Aleppo" and "revenge", a witness said.

Ankara mayor Melih Gokcek has identified the shooter as a Turkish policeman.

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