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USA detained, released 2 Turkish security officers involved in massive fight

USA detained, released 2 Turkish security officers involved in massive fight

Erdogan met Trump at the White House on Tuesday, with the two leaders pledging to improve ties between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies - even as Erdogan gave a stern warning about Washington's arming of Kurdish militia in Syria.

Turkey's foreign minister on Thursday called on the Trump administration to replace its envoy to the anti-Islamic State coalition - the latest sign of Turkish frustration with the USA war strategy in Syria amid mounting tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

USA intelligence indicates that ISIS is gathering its chemical warfare experts from Syria and Iraq to form a new "chemical weapons cell", CNN reported. In response, Turkish officials told their USA counterparts that they reserved the right to step up military action against the YPG in Syria.

The call followed Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan's meeting on Tuesday with US president Donald Trump, at which Erdogan reinforced his displeasure at USA plans to arm Syrian Kurds in the YPG militia (the People's Protection Units) ahead of their assault on ISIS-held Raqqa as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). He described the U.S. -YPG partnership as "tactical and transactional". The government should "throw their ambassador the hell out" of the country, Republican Sen.

A violent confrontation Tuesday evening outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Northwest Washington resulted in 11 people being injured.

Local police and lawmakers initially speculated that diplomatic immunity prevented the US from holding the men. But the Washington police and USA officials should treat them like common criminal suspects nonetheless. "We are not going to go into specifics or speculate on what may happen", a State Department official said in a statement.

The guards' release left the US struggling to point to anything that amounts to accountability. The U.S. says there's an ongoing investigation that will allow the U.S.

"At the moment the mountains are filled with ammunition", Erdogan said, adding Turkish security forces have been engaging in all kinds of struggle.

"There must be consequences", Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said Thursday. Sen. The initial response from the State Department condemned the violence.

On Thursday, Voice of America's Turkish Service released video showing Erdogan observing from the back seat of a vehicle while his security team pursued and attacked the protesters.

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Attacking with their fists and feet, men in dark suits and others are seen repeatedly kicking one woman as she lay curled on a sidewalk. Another wrenches a woman's neck and throws her to the ground. Seconds later, a group of men run across the street and start punching and kicking protesters.

Nine people were hurt and two people were arrested during the incident on Tuesday, and a D.C. Fire and EMS spokesperson reported two of those who were hurt sustained serious injuries and were taken to hospitals.

"These are not just average people at this", McCain said about the bodyguards.

The Turkish Embassy in a statement blamed the violence on demonstrators, stating they were "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president". Turkey insists that these YPG militants and their PYD political party are tied to the Kurdish insurgency in Turkey known as the PKK, which the US, the European Union and Turkey all consider a terrorist organization.

Turkey's displeasure at U.S. policy in the ISIS war, and particularly at their lack of hostility toward the region's Kurds, continues apace today, with Turkey demanding the USA fire Brett McGurk, the special ambassador in charge of the ISIS war, on the grounds that he is "pro-Kurd".

To Turkey's dismay, Trump has made a decision to arm Syrian Kurdish militants in the impending fight to retake the key city of Raqqa.

The Pentagon said the move is significant because it supports the notion that the Syrian Democratic Force is the fighting force that will eventually go in to Raqqa, a city in Syria's center which has been under ISIS control since 2014. By the time they walked to the Turkish Embassy, the group was down to about 15. But in the US, it is a protected right. They said they expected "conduct more appropriate' from Turkey, a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and a key USA ally".

"We are already telling you in advance: Our rules of engagement give us this authority", Erdogan said.

The Trump administration rushed to McGurk's defense.

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