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Erdogan: Turkey will not take part in Raqqa offensive

19 May 2017, 10:53 | Taylor George

Violence erupted when Turkish security officials and counter-protesters clashed with demonstrators near the ambassador's residence, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stayed after meetings with President Trump at the White House.

According to reports, Erdogan's bodyguards pushed past U.S. police and assaulted a group of protesters hours after the meeting between Trump and Erdogan.

The U.S. detained and released two members of the Turkish president's delegation after they were involved in an attack on peaceful protesters outside the Turkish embassy Tuesday. Video shows Erdogan supporters and bodyguards flooding through the police line and beating protesters on American soil.

U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and John McCain (R-Arizona) penned a joint a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday urging him "to hold accountable those members of your staff who violently attacked peaceful protesters in our nation's capitol".

Because the altercation took place in broad daylight, many wonder if the United States will charge the security personnel and other Erdogan supporters involved in the attack - all of whom could potentially claim diplomatic immunity.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the United States should replace its special envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition, Brett McGurk, because of his perceived support for Kurdish "militants" in northern Syria, Turkey's state news agency Anadolu reported Thursday.

Police said the fighting outside the Turkish ambassador's residence on Tuesday injured 11 people, including a Washington police officer, and led to two arrests for assault.

"This is the United States of America", McCain wrote. A man with a bullhorn is repeatedly kicked in the face.

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"It is absolutely unacceptable to take the YPG-PYD into consideration as partners in the region, and it's going against a global agreement we reached", Erdogan said in Washington.

The confrontation came after President Donald Trump welcomed Erdogan to the White House on 16 May.

The US State Department expressed concern to Turkey in the "strongest possible terms" on Wednesday.

"The actions seen outside the Turkish Embassy yesterday in Washington, D.C. stand in contrast to the First Amendment rights and principles we work tirelessly to protect each and every day", the police statement said.

The protesters said they were demonstrating peacefully until Erdogan's guards and supporters suddenly moved toward them.

The Turkish embassy claimed that the protests turned violent as a result of individuals who were affiliated with the PKK, an organization on the State Department's designated terrorist list, that has carried out attacks in its country but has yet to carry out an attack in the U.S.

"The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense", the statement read.



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