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Erdogan Bodyguards Accused of Attacking DC Protesters Released

Erdogan Bodyguards Accused of Attacking DC Protesters Released

Just days after a brutal fight outside the Turkish embassy in Washington, DC, that left at least a dozen people injured, video footage has surfaced showing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calmly watching the violence near his auto.

The Secret Service announced on Wednesday that it is investigating the attack that sent nine people to the hospital, and according to the D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham, it appeared to be unprovoked.

The U.S.is declining to say whether the security agents were granted diplomatic immunity or under what conditions they were released. Eventually Erdogan turns away and slowly walks into the embassy.

The clip shows Erdogan emerging from a auto to watch the melee before heading inside the Turkish ambassador's residence. The video shows one of the president's aides communicating with Erdogan, who is sat in the back of a black Mercedes sedan, before walking towards the demonstrators.

The embassy blamed the violence on groups linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), saying they "aggressively provoked Turkish-American citizens" who had gathered to greet Erdogan.

The incident happened in front of the Turkish ambassador's residence.

A member of his security detail speaks to the president before walking over to another bodyguard. "People have the right in our country to peacefully demonstrate - and they were peacefully demonstrating", McCain said. "This isn't Turkey. This isn't a third-world country, and this kind of thing can not go unresponded to diplomatically". Nor did they answer whether or not the Turkish personnel involved in the attack would be disciplined.

"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".

The U.S. State Department said the episode was "deeply disturbing" and promised that an investigation would hold those responsible to account.

"We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America", McCain said on Thursday.

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.

Ankara regards the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which is a US ally in the fight against Islamic State, as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group fighting a decades-old insurgency in southeastern Turkey.