If you're going to kill your own people, at least have the decency to use a drone.
As I opened The Guardian website this morning, there it was, a somewhat sensational story alleging that the Kremlin was suspected of the shooting death of an Islamist Chechen in Istanbul.
"Abdulvakhid Edelgireyev survived for years hiding in the Chechen mountains, launching attacks on Russian security forces and evading capture. He survived the battlefields of Syria, and those of east Ukraine. But in November his life came to an abrupt end in a flurry of bullets: he was shot dead in broad daylight in Istanbul as he embarked on a shopping trip with his three-year-old niece.
"Edelgireyev and his niece walked out of their apartment block in Kayasehir, a far-flung suburb of nondescript new towers, shortly before 2pm on 1 November. The 32-year-old Chechen sat the girl in the passenger seat of his car, and was about to start the engine when a white car rammed into them from behind, closing him in. Pushing his niece on to the floor under the seat, Edelgireyev scrambled out and started running. One of the assassins gave chase, firing at him, and he crumpled to the ground. When paramedics arrived a few minutes later he was already dead, in a pool of blood. He had been shot five times.
"The dead man’s biography, as set out by family and associates, paints a picture of a key figure in the Caucasus Emirate, the umbrella group of Chechen and other fighters in Russia’s North Caucasus that has resorted to terrorist methods, including suicide attacks on Moscow’s metro and Domodedovo airport."
Murder, murder most foul. Perhaps if Putin had used a drone...
But this is different. Edelgireyev was gunned down on the streets of Istanbul, a city in the ISIS supporting, NATO ally Turkey. Several thousand Chechens now call Istanbul home and it has become a base for Chechen fighters and their families. Edelgireyev's three brothers died in shootouts with Russian forces.
The hypocrisy is palpable. We all got on the war wagon to invade Afghanistan and topple the Taliban government because they gave sanctuary to al Qaeda which had just killed three thousand Americans. Erdogan gives sanctuary to thousands of Chechen terrorists and their families, supports Islamists waging a terror war in Syria and Iraq, yet we recognize Turkey as an ally, a member in good standing of NATO.
Oh, wait, I know what the difference is. The Russians do their killing with guns, not drones. I suppose Edelgireyev's niece was unharmed.