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U.S. should replace presidential envoy for IS issue: Turkish FM

U.S. should replace presidential envoy for IS issue: Turkish FM

He said that parts of Turkey's southeast and eastern regions, where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has been fighting a decades-old insurgency, were still flooded with weapons.

Washington sees the YPG as a distinct entity and a valuable partner in the fight against Islamic State.

Erdogan, speaking to a group of business leaders in Istanbul, said he told the United States that Turkey would "exercise its rights under the rules of engagement", without consulting anyone, if it faced a threat.

Citing a cross-border offensive Turkey launched against IS and the YPG in Syria previous year, Erdogan said "we won't hesitate to launch similar operations if we see the need".

"We said we would not be in such an operation with you where you ally with terror organizations and so we said good luck", Erdogan said.

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

Turkey's foreign minister also demanded that a US envoy be removed for allegedly backing the Kurds, but the State Department said Brett McGurk has the "full support" of the Trump administration. By facilitating Armenian Genocide denial, by remaining silent regarding Turkey's illegal blockade of Armenia, by disregarding its support for ISIS and al Qaida, by overlooking Turkey's suppression of its religious and national minorities and its widening repression against its citizens-at-large, the US has only emboldened the Erdogan regime to become more aggressive, both inside and outside of Turkey. "It would be beneficial if this person is changed", Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told NTV television.

Last month, Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish fighters in Iraq's Sinjar region and YPG militia in Syria.

"Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

The US state department said Turkish security guards had been involved in the clash but Turkey blamed the protesters for the disturbance. Two people were arrested and charged with misdemeanour assault, and District of Columbia police said Wednesday the investigation is continuing, with the possibility of other people being charged.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator John McCain, one of the leading foreign policy voices in Congress, on May 18 urged the expulsion of Turkey's U.S. ambassador after violence erupted between protesters and Turkish security personnel during President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan's recent visit.