The Turkish Embassy released a statement Wednesday that made no mention of any role played by the presidential guards but said that a group of Turkish American citizens who had gathered to greet Erdogan "responded in self-defense" to a "provocative demonstration".
Later, speaking to reporters at the Turkish embassy, Erdogan underlined Turkey's concerns about the YPG, which Ankara regards as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group fighting a decades-old insurgency in southeast Turkey.
The U.S. State Department is expressing concern about Tuesday's violent clash involving supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a few dozen protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington. The melee dissipated in less than a minute, and Erdogan is seen emerging from the Mercedes Benz.
US military officials in the Trump and Obama administrations have concluded that there is no effective alternative to the military plan that relies on the Kurdish fighters - despite Turkey's insistence that it could muster an equally effective force with Syrian Arab fighters. John McCain called for the Turkish ambassador to the U.S. to be thrown out of the country on Thursday amid growing anger over the violent beating of protesters that took place outside of the Turkish embassy in Washington earlier this week.
McCain and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, told Erdogan in a letter they sent Thursday that the "actions of your staff violate the constitutional protections of freedom of the press and freedom of assembly enjoyed by all Americans".
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Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC said he wants "people prosecuted".
The guards' release left the USA struggling to point to anything that amounts to accountability.
The U.S. sees the Syrian Kurds as its best battlefield partner on the ground in northern Syria.
"These are not just average people that did this beating, this is Erdogan's security detail", said McCain.
"There must be consequences", Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said Thursday. The State Department and politicians condemned the attack.
However, the two security detail members that were held after the brawl were released and are already back in Turkey. Seconds later, a group of men run across the street and start punching and kicking protesters.
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In 2016, the Washington Post reported clashes between protesters and the Turkish leader's security detail.
"We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America", Sen.
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.
Tensions are running high between the USA and Turkey after the Trump administration announced plans to arm Kurdish Syrians militants with small arms, machine guns, armored vehicles and other military hardware.
McGurk was in northern Syria 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 Raqa city civilian council.
While Brunson admits to welcoming Kurds at his Christian house of worship, the İzmir Resurrection Church, and sharing the stage with them while leading services, he has denied enabling the spread of any anti-Turkish government messages and noted that, as he did not speak Kurdish himself, he could not know what anyone said in his church in Kurdish. "We are telling you this now in advance", Erdogan said.
Republicans are calling on the Trump administration to investigate whether criminal charges are warranted against any of the bodyguards.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said McGurk has "the full support and backing" of Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
"In the same way, we should never allow those groups who want to change the ethnic or religious structures in the region to use terrorism as a pretext".