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Senator calls for ejection of Turkish ambassador

19 May 2017

Turkey has long complained that U.S. policy against Islamic State in Syria has favoured the YPG over Arab rebel forces, a policy that Turkish officials believe is driven partly by Washington's envoy to the worldwide coalition against the jihadist group.

The United States later said it released two members of Erdogan's security detail after briefly detaining them.

USA officials expressed outrage after what they described as a "brutal attack" Tuesday by Erdogan bodyguards on a small group of pro-Kurdish protesters who gathered on the U.S. capital's "Embassy Row" after Erdogan met with President Donald Trump at the White House.

The bloody brawl sent nine to the hospital and Turkish security officials were seen coming out of the ambassador's residence, then retreating to the residence grounds, a law enforcement official said, adding that the same scenario played out a few times.

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In an address to Turkish businessmen in Istanbul on Thursday, Erdogan said he told Trump that Ankara would not join any Raqqa operation given the YPG's participation.

Still, the State Department said it was expressing "concern" to Turkey over the incident "in the strongest possible terms".

For their part, the Turkish Embassy blamed the violence on the protesters, the AP reported.

"The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense", said a statement from the Turkish embassy.

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Trump has yet to comment personally on the skirmish, but the State Department did issue a statement saying it is "concerned by the violent incidents involving protestors and Turkish security personnel Tuesday evening".

In his first public address since returning from a visit with U.S. President Donald Trump, Erdogan said he told the United States that Ankara would "exercise its rights under the rules of engagement", without consulting anyone, if it felt it needed to.

The biggest dispute between Turkey and the US recently has been the Trump administration's plans to arm Kurdish Syrian militants fighting the Islamic State group. At least 12 people were injured in the fight.

Video footage of the clash on Tuesday showed men in suits charging past police to kick and punch protesters. Nor did they answer whether or not the Turkish personnel involved in the attack would be disciplined. So, you can not have that happen in the United States of America. "The Metropolitan Police Department will continue investigating the incident and will work with federal partners to ensure justice is served", said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

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Senator calls for ejection of Turkish ambassador