WARNING: Some of the material in this article is considered graphic and may not be suitable for all readers, please note before continuing.
At least 35 people were killed and another 40 were injured in an alleged terror attack at a New Year’s Eve celebration being held at Reina nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey, CNN reported.
An assailant(s) dressed as Santa Claus allegedly opened fire while speaking Arabic, Ruptly reported. While some media outlets reported up to three assailants, others have said there was only one gunman.
There were thought to be more than 500 people in attendance at the nightclub to celebrate New Year’s, USA Today reported.
Footage from the scene showed chaos as civilians were escorted out, and at least six ambulances were seen, a private NTV television reported, according to ABC.
ISIS warned Muslims in a statement not to celebrate the New Year. “To celebrate New Year’s Eve with the kuffar is to embrace their idolatry and paganism and to shun the rulings of our Lord,” part of the statement read. Read more below:
The attack comes just days after an alleged Turkish bombing on the northern Syrian city of al-Bab.
Turkey has been keen to take al-Bab, a Syrian city 30 miles south of its border since it began its Operation Euphrates Shield in late August. They are backed by the United States in their effort to defeat ISIS in the region, but are not backed by the US when it comes to their effort to defeat Syrian Democratic Forces and the International Freedom Battalion.
According to The Independent, the goal of Turkey entering the Syrian Civil War is to undermine the Kurdish Democratic Union Party while protecting its borders from ISIS and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG. The YPG is the armed branch of the Democratic Union Party.
While the US has a presence in the battle, they are remaining hands-off. According to Al-Monitor, “The formal US stance, however, has been that it will not help the Turkish-backed Operation Euphrates Shield coalition or the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF), led by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), capture al-Bab. It has refused to do so because it does not want to be dragged into Turkey’s ongoing battle to prevent the Syrian Kurds from linking territories under their control.”
*This article will be updated as information becomes available, please check back.
Heavy is an independent news organization. We report acts of terror and violence so that the public may be fully informed. This may include content considered graphic, which is identified. We do not support, in any way, the individuals or organizations involved.