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Does the Arab world view Russian ambassador's assassination as a trigger to a 3rd world war?
ByYASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
December 20, 2016 18:58
Some are now interpreting these live visuals as a testament to the fact that we are already in the throes of a third world war.
Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov assasinated in Ankara, Turkey, Dec. 19, 2016 (credit: REUTERS)

Tuesday's print edition of the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan sported two interesting headlines on its first page. The left headline read  "Syria harshly condemns the assassination of Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov,'' while the right headline suggested "Russia acting to bring the quickest possible solution to the crisis in Syria." 

The Syrian regime's newspapers dub the Syrian Civil War, which has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, rendered millions of people homeless refugees and destroyed cities across the country, a "crisis."



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The message was crystal clear: after the Russian ambassador was murdered, an event that triggered a world war in the past century, it is in everyone's best interest is to pour oil over the troubled waters of Syria.

Those who have been closely following Arab social media channels in the past 24 hours have probably already discerned that the Arab world is split into two sparring camps: one camp strongly condemns the assassination, as it appears to be hurting the rebels' ongoing struggle and/or playing right into the hands of the Assad regime, while the other camp is basically gloating.

Many in the Arab world adopted the assassin's image as their profile picture, expressing their support of his brutal act.

Then there are those who speak of Monday's dramatic event as a possible trigger to a third world war, bringing to mind the  assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, who was killed, along with his wife, during the couple's visit to Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.

It appears that the voices who have uttered this statement and others like it are not put to rest by the messages of calm and peace expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as his Turkish counterpart, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Faisal al-Qaseem, a senior journalist of Al Jazeera and a prominent Syrian opposer to boot, tweeted: "If you thought that the assassination of the Russian ambassador was a dangerous event, then just wait for something ten-fold more dangerous to happen in the coming year. The world is going to turn upside down." Al-Qaseem neglected to elaborate.

There were also speculations, that some would flatly call conspiracy theories, that raised the possibility of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad being personally involved in the assassination of the ambassador in Ankara.

These speculations also provide an explanation as to the Syrian dictator's motive: according to them, Assad wants a war to break out between Russia and Turkey in which Russia will have the upper hand.

Thus, Assad will be able to avenge the Turks; Russia will then unofficially conquer Syria but in return will also defend his regime, which will then lead the Russians to deal with other issues in other territories, seeing as the Russian presence in Syria is not as necessary now as it was a year ago; and lastly, Russia would like to receive something in return for siding with the Syrian president, and now he will not have to give anything after important and strategic parts of Syria have been returned to his regime.

The videos of the assassination that spread to the press were of very high quality, somewhat reminiscent of videos produced by ISIS. They appeared in addition to the high-resolution photos taken by media photographers who were there at the scene.

Some are now interpreting these live visuals as a testament to the fact that we are already in the throes of a third world war. Those that do, deem the assassination as a trigger to a more devastating stage of the war- the stage in which not only do the dwellers of the Middle East exchange fire, but rather the whole world.

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Tags:
  • Syria
  • russia
  • syria civil war
  • syria assad
  • Middle East
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