On Tuesday, the Istanbul Ataturk airport was struck by explosions and gunfire when two suicide bombers stormed a security checkpoint. Multiple casualties and dozens of injuries were reported at that time, but the New York Times has updated these numbers with 36 dead and 147 wounded. Turkish officials also did not hesitate to hint at suspicions of terrorism. Indeed, Turkey has seen numerous suicide bombings this year by both Islamic State and Kurdish militants, and The Telegraph reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan summarized the event as “show[ing] that terrorism strikes with no regard to faith and values.”
Now, witness reports from the scene are surfacing with an unidentified bystander telling CNN how there was glass everywhere, and people had to put an effort into not slipping into pools of blood. Laurence Cameron told Anderson Cooper how he felt “a disaster movie” was unfolding in front of him. Cameron described a scene of total chaos with screaming people who had no idea what was happening after it looked like a “bulldozer” had taken root.
Meanwhile, both presumptive U.S. presidential nominees both had takes on the situation. Donald Trump released his statement, which included a promise that he’ll keep America safe:
“The terrorist threat has never been greater. Our enemies are brutal and ruthless and will do anything to murder those who do not bend to their will. We must take steps now to protect America from terrorists, and do everything in our power to improve our security to keep America safe.”
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton emphasized the need for the U.S. to stand firm with Turkey as an ally:
“Terrorists have struck again in the heart of one of our NATO allies — and all Americans stand united with the people of Turkey against this campaign of hatred and violence … Today’s attack in Istanbul only strengthens our resolve to defeat the forces of terrorism and radical jihadism around the world. And it reminds us that the United States cannot retreat. We must deepen our cooperation with our allies and partners in the Middle East and Europe to take on this threat.
Naturally, these are two very different takes on the same situation, which is to be expected from to candidates with very different ideas of foreign policy. Meanwhile, the Obama administration described the terrorist attack as “heinous” with another CNN report filling in more harrowing details from the scene.