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New Video Shows Erdogan Watching Washington Brawl

19 May 2017

Video has emerged of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an official vehicle apparently watching as a goon squad of men in suits charged from near where his auto was parked in Washington and attacked peaceful protesters across the street.

The Turkish Embassy maintains the bodyguards were acting in self defense and that the protesters were "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president".

"The (Syrian Democratic Force), partnered with enabling support from USA and coalition forces, are the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future", chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said Tuesday in a statement. "We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the U.S.is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally".

A video by Voice of America (VOA) released on Thursday shows that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan watched violent attack of his bodyguards and embassy staff to protesters outside of the ambassador's residence in the United States capital on Tuesday, Turkish Minute reported. US lawmakers demanded stronger action.

"We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America", Sen.

John McCain, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called for the Turkish ambassador to be kicked out of the U.S. But due to their diplomatic immunity, they were released on the scene. A USA official said Thursday that wasn't the case.

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The guards' release left the USA struggling to point to anything that amounts to accountability.

Erdogan made the comments Thursday while addressing Turkish businessmen in Istanbul after returning to Turkey from a Tuesday visit to the White House.

The Turkish security officials were briefly detained at the site of the protest by US law enforcement for their role in the altercation.

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

A video posted online showed men in dark suits chasing anti-government protesters and punching and kicking them as police intervened. Another wrenches a woman's neck and throws her to the ground. Nine people were sent to the hospital; two were arrested. This isn't Turkey. This isn't a Third World country.

Turkey blamed the violence outside its ambassador's residence on demonstrators linked to the PKK, but Washington's police chief called it a "brutal attack" on peaceful protesters. "Attacks like these are totally unacceptable for any visiting head of state, including Turkey", the Council said in a statement.

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The violent capstone to Erdogan's visit spoke to the sky-high tensions between the USA and Turkey, NATO allies that have increasingly sparred over US strategy toward defeating IS militants in Syria.

McGurk was in northern Syria on Tuesday and Wednesday for talks with the leadership of the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, and the YPG, according to a source in the nascent Raqqa city civilian council.

The D.C. Police Department issued a statement saying they were working with the State Department and Secret Service to "identify and hold all subjects accountable for their involvement in the altercation".

In its protest against Trump's decision, Turkey's foreign minister demanded Thursday that Trump dismiss the US envoy in charge of the anti-IS coalition, Brett McGurk. "We are telling you this now in advance", he said.

"When we take this step, we don't speak or consult with anyone as we don't have any time to waste".

Cavusoglu said Trump's administration seems more understanding about Turkey's security concerns.

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Such violence is never an appropriate response to free speech and peaceful protest.