Several gunshots fired at U.S embassy in Ankara, no casualties reported

The US embassy in Ankara has faced numerous security threats in the past [Tumay Berkin/EPA]

Several gunshots were fired at the United States embassy in the Ankara, Turkey’s capital through a vehicle hitting a security cabin window, police reported. There were no casualties.

A police officer told Reuters news agency at the scene the drive-by shooting occurred around 5am (02:00 GMT) and that nobody was hurt. The embassy was supposed to be closed this week due to the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha festival.

Police teams were searching for the assailants, who fled in a white car after the attack, private news channel CNN Turk said. Four or five gunshots were heard, it reported.

Haberturk, a broadcaster, showed the footage of the police teams inspecting the embassy’s entrances and the damage caused by a single gunshot. It said empty cartridges were found at the scene.

Turkey-U.S ties started falling downhill after the imprisonment of US pastor Andrew Brunson, which led the US to impose sanctions. The sanctions caused the country’s currency, lira, to fall.

“It [the attack] shows how the antipathy is between Ankara and Washington as the diplomatic dispute continues to rumble,” Al Jazeera’s Sonia Gallego, reporting from Istanbul, said.

“It would appear to be an attack … designed to usher a warning or demonstrate the displeasure that there is towards the United States at this moment,” she added.

The ongoing crisis between U.S and Turkey relations risks consequences in military ties between the two, after U.S President Donald Trump last week ordered new tariffs on Turkey due to continued detention of Brunson.

The tariffs have been slapped on  steel and aluminum, which has caused the country’s currency, lira, to take a hit. On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote in The New York Times that unless Washington can “reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect,” Turkey will “start looking for new friends and allies.” It contacted Russia soon after to to discuss economic and trade issues, as well as the Syria crisis.



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