Commenting on Monday’s terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, Turkish political analysts told Sputnik that it could have been aimed against Russia’s policy on Syria and Ukraine.

 

 

Kerim Has said that because the current aerial campaign in Syria is Russia’s first overseas military operation since the 1992 Soviet breakup, the attack could have been masterminded by Daesh or any other jihadist organization.

 

“The mere fact that the attack targeted civilians and that the bomb was filled with shards of metal, nails and ball bearings to increase its wounding ability, means that Daesh could have had a hand in that. Besides, we have heard their recent threats of terrorist attacks being planned in Russia,” Has said.

 

He added that now that Daesh has been flushed out of al-Bab and has been losing ground in Raqqa, the St. Petersburg bombing could have been meant to prevent possible coordination by Russian, US and Syrian forces fighting the jihadists in Raqqa.

 

“I still believe that [after what happened in St. Petersburg] Russia will only step up its military action in Syria,” Has told Sputnik Turkey.

 

He added that due to the recent spike in Russian airstrikes on terrorist positions in Idlib, the jihadist groups active in and around the city, including Ahrar ash-Sham and Jayish al-Islam, could also have been behind Monday’s attack.

 

‘If it becomes known that the attack in St. Petersburg was plotted by any of the jihadists groups active in Idlib, Russia could start training Kurdish YPG units and use them in the ground operation in Syria,” Bas noted.

 

He added that a large-scale Russian operation in Idlib could antagonize Turkey and upset the “fragile” alliance between Turkey and Iran.

 

Commenting on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plans to launch a new military operation in Syria, Kerim Has said that Turkey would have to work closely with Russia.

 

“If the [moderate Syrian] opposition is found to have been behind the terrorist attack in Russia then Ankara could be forced to end its support for them and no longer use them in its operations in Syria. This, in turn, could bring Turkey and Russia closer together,” Kerim Has concluded.

 

Mentioning Monday’s terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, Turkish security expert Mete Yarar said that could have been a message to President Vladimir Putin who was in St. Petersburg meeting with his Belarusian colleague Alexander Lukashenko to discuss bilateral issues and also the situation in Ukraine.

 

“The terrorist attacks that we have seen happening the past few years are part of a hybrid war. Some countries now use terrorist groups as an instrument against other countries. I think Monday’s attack is part of the ‘fourth generation war,’ which includes terrorist provocations, economic embargoes and psychological pressure,” Mete Yarar said.

 

“The attack in St. Petersburg should be seen as an element of a long chain of events that preceded it and that could happen in the future,” he warned.

 

On April 3, a suicide bomber blew himself up in between two metro stations in St. Petersburg killing himself, 13 other people and injuring about 50 more.

 

An additional explosive device was later found at another station and was defused by a police bomb squad.

 

The authorities later identified the suicide bomber as Akbarzhon Djalilov, 22, a Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan.

 

Investigators matched Djalilov’s DNA to the second bomb left at a metro station that was defused by authorities.

 

 

 

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