Officials blame Erdogan security forces for 'brutal attack' on Washington protesters

"We told them...we do not regard your cooperation with a terrorist group in Raqqa as healthy", Erdogan was cited as saying, but he said he expected a role for Turkey in Syria.

"We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms", said Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman.

Erdogan was in Washington, DC to meet with President Donald Trump (pictured together on Tuesday), who praised him as a loyal ally in the battle against Islamic extremism.

Senator John McCain has urged the expulsion of Turkey's ambassador to the United States following a violent confrontation between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's bodyguards and protesters in Washington, DC.

"We can confirm that Ambassador Kilic was summoned to the State Department and met with Under Secretary Shannon on Wednesday", a State Department official told NBC News. "This isn't Turkey. This isn't a third-world country, and this kind of thing can not go unresponded to diplomatically, and maybe in other ways". John McCain called for Turkey's ambassador to the U.S.to be "thrown out" of the country.

"This is the United States of America", McCain wrote. We do not do this here.

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The UK government called a meeting of its crisis response committee, known as Cobra, to discuss how to handle the situation. However, Wainwright said so far "remarkably few" payments had been made by the victims of the attack.

"These are not just average people at this meeting".

The Trump administration is facing growing calls for a forceful response to violence on American soil by Turkish presidential guards who were briefly detained this week but then set free. Shouting is heard, and Erdogan's security staff was seen storming the protesters. "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 utmost importance to us". In April, the USA had criticized Turkish airstrikes against Kurdish militants in Syria and Iraq.

A video posted online showed men in dark suits chasing anti-government protesters and punching and kicking them as police intervened.

Turkish supporters, however, claimed they were provoked by members of the Turkish Kurdish party YPG, which Erdogan's government considers a terrorist group for its links to the PKK.

The protesters "began aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the President", the embassy said in a statement released late Wednesday.

Turkey launched its Euphrates Shield operation inside Syria past year, backing Syrian rebels with tanks, air strikes and special forces to sweep Islamic State from its southern border and stop the advance of the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which Ankara regards as a terrorist organization.

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