DHKP-C militants attack US consulate in Istanbul

Two DHKP-C militants open fire on United States consulate building in Istanbul

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

An outside view of the US consulate in Istinye district of Istanbul

Two DHKP-C militants on Monday attacked the United States consulate building in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul.

The suspects - two women - fled after police shot back, according to reports in Turkish media.

The one of the suspects was detained as she was trying to escape from the area.

The suspect, later identified as 42-year-old Hatice Asik who is a member of the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

According to police sources, Asik was designated as a potential suicide bomber candidate by the far-left group. Photos of Asik had been distributed to security units throughout the country after it was claimed that she had plans to commit a suicide attack on the Turkish Ministry of Justice in September of this year.  

The DHKP-C is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.

According to an eyewitness, Asik was walking by shooting at the US consulate building.

The eyewitness said "we went out on the balcony at 6:00 in the morning. A woman with a machine gun in her hands was walking by shooting. We rushed inside.”

No casualties were reported from the incident.

Turkish police have launched a search to find the other suspect.

The US Istanbul Consulate announced that "the consulate will be closed to the public until furher notice."

Also on Monday, in another district of Istanbul a bomb attack carried out by an unidentified militant group hit a police station, injuring three police officers and seven civilians.

Both attacks follow the Turkish government’s decision to start an active battle against outlawed PKK and ISIS targets inside and outside of Turkey following increased terror attacks by the groups inside the country.

Recently, Turkey launched a campaign of air strikes against ISIS and PKK positions in Syria and Northern Iraq respectively. Turkey has also agreed to let US-led coalition forces use its Incirlik Air Base for the fight against ISIS.

Turkey also detained more than 1,300 suspected supporters of illegal groups, including ISIS, the PKK and the DHKP-C.

Terror attacks against Turkish security officials have increased after the Suruc suicide bombing on July 20 which claimed 33 lives and is widely thought to have been carried out by ISIS.

US diplomatic missions in Turkey have previously been targeted several times by different militant groups.

The US embassy complex in Ankara was targeted by DHKP-C militants in early February 2013. The attack killed one security officer and ended with the death of the assailant. A journalist who was due to meet with the then American ambassador Francis Ricciardone was also injured in the attack.

The US consulate in Istanbul was also targeted in early July, 2008. The three gunmen and three Turkish police officers were killed during the gunfight. Though the investigation could not relate the attackers to a militant organisation directly, Turkish authorities charged two suspected al-Qaeda members over the consulate attack in December 2008.

TRTWorld, AA