Monday, 29 May, 2017

Turkey demands US fire envoy in spat over Syrian Kurds

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Kenny Thornton | 20 May, 2017, 06:47

USA expresses concern in "strongest possible terms" after violence erupted outside the Turkish embassy.

Erdogan had just met at the White House with President Trump.

Nauert said in her statement that the United States respects Turkey's concerns about its approach, and will continue regular consultations on the issue.

ISTANBUL (AP) - Turkey's leader told Donald Trump that his country will keep on fighting Syrian Kurdish militants even though they are a key US ally against the Islamic State group, Turkey's foreign minister said Thursday, adding that a top USA envoy should be fired for backing the Kurds.

Turkey's foreign minister on Thursday called on the Trump administration to replace its envoy to the anti-Islamic State coalition - the latest sign of Turkish frustration with the USA war strategy in Syria and of mounting tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Video appears to show Erdogan's bodyguards violently breaking up a protest this week while Erdogan was visiting Washington.

Video footage of the clash on Tuesday showed men in suits charging past police to kick and punch protesters.

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"We intend to assure that there is accountability for anyone involved in this assault", he said, adding that the police were working closely with the State Department and the Secret Service.

Turkey is ready to retaliate if it faces a threat from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and will not shirk from launching a military campaign if need be, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday. "The State Department has raised its concerns about these events at the highest levels, and a thorough investigation that will allow us to hold the responsible individuals accountable is of the upmost importance to us".

The Turkish Embassy in the US blamed the violence on the protesters, who included Kurds, a minority group with tensions with the Turkish government. "It would be beneficial if this person is changed", Cavusoglu said.

On Wednesday the Turkish Ambassador to the US Serdar Kiliç was summoned to the State Department, a senior State Department official told CNN.

Police said the fighting outside the Turkish ambassador's residence on Tuesday injured 11 people, including a Washington police officer, and led to two arrests for assault.

He told "Morning Joe" that he believed the Turkish ambassador to the US should be thrown "the hell out" of the country because of the violence.

Turkey insists that these YPG militants and their PYD political party are tied to the Kurdish insurgency in Turkey known as the PKK, which the United States, the European Union and Turkey all consider a terrorist organisation.

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