On Friday, February 1, a suicide bombing took place outside the U.S. embassy in Turkey, killing a Turkish security guard and wounding another. The Turkish government says this was not the work of Islamist terrorists. The bomber belonged to the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C), a Marxist-Leninist terrorist group and a group has ties to the Assad dictatorship of Syria. This raises the possibility that Assad used DHKP-C to take revenge on Turkey for supporting the Syrian rebels.
DHKP-C was viewed as a has-been terrorist group from the Cold War era. Starting out in the 1970s, it carried out attacks on Western targets in Turkey but hasn’t received much attention. The suicide bomber that carried out Friday’s attack was previously arrested in 1997 in connection with rocket attacks on a police station and a military officers’ club. He was released from prison after a hunger strike did severe damage to his brain. The group’s suicide attackers often have incurable diseases.
“Syria has provided a lot of facilities to this group, including camps, ammunition, etc. They had a really close relationship with Syrian intelligence,” said Nihat Ali Ozcan, a Turkish terrorism expert.