The assassin was a Turkish police officer named Mert Altintas who fired up to five bullets into the Russian ambassador at point blank range. Altintas yelled “allaha akbar” repeatedly, while waving his gun around and raging about what was happening in Allepo. He was eventually shot dead by security.
This assassination is a scary reminder of the deadliest conflict in human history that was sparked when Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914.
The murder of the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary rapidly sparked a diplomatic crisis which ultimately led to the deaths of 16 million people, including seven million civilians.
Within one month of the shooting in 1914, major powers were at war as nations felt compelled to honor complex treaties and pacts – and the conflict soon spread around the world.
Chillingly, the murder of a very senior Russian diplomat on Turkish soil, just yards from the main parliament building, has many parallels to the Ferdinand killing.