Bottom Line: A leftist group has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the US Embassy in Ankara, but if this is a message about Turkey’s role in the Syrian conflict then it sets a dangerous precedent for Turkish security and the first real blowback for its actions in support of the Syrian opposition.
Analysis: The leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army (DHKP-C) has claimed responsibility on its website for the 1 February suicide attack on the US Embassy in Ankara. As you know from our earlier cable, the attacker blew himself up just inside the security gatehouse and the single casualty was the on-duty security guard. The group has indicated that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a target. The group is a Marxist-Leninist terror organization which is anti-US, anti-NATO and opposed to Turkey’s support for the Syrian opposition. We have no evidence as of yet to contradict the claim of responsibility for this attack. As we noted in our previous cable, we did not believe this was the work of the PKK as our assets on the ground had provided credible intelligence to rule out this theory.
However, is this is intended as a response to Turkey’s involvement in the conflict in Syria and with the Syrian rebels, it would set a dangerous precedent on that level.
Recommendation: We would keep an eye on other targets in Istanbul and Ankara, particularly hotels that are known to be presently housing Syrian opposition figures…