DC police say 2 arrests made in Turkish embassy melee case
- Author: Jon Douglas Jun 16, 2017,
Jun 16, 2017, 4:02
The NATO allies are still at odds over a USA decision to arm Syrian Kurdish rebels fighting the Islamic State group in Syria.
Officials are set to announce charges against a dozen of the Turkish president's security detail for their alleged role in a violent altercation outside the country's embassy in Washington, D.C. US officials have said law-abiding Americans were affected. "And the leveling of charges might embolden other countries to ignore similar immunity agreements, putting US diplomats overseas at risk".
The charges come nearly a month after Erdogan's guards made global headlines when cell phones and video cameras caught the men kicking, choking, and shoving protesters on Washington's Sheridan Circle.
A video posted online showed men in dark suits chasing protesters and punching and kicking them as Washington police struggled to intervene.
A man with a bullhorn was repeatedly kicked in the face.
Nine people were injured in the skirmish.
"The police did the best they could under the circumstances", Newsham said.
Yildirim, a 50-year-old construction company owner from New Jersey, faces charges of assault with significant bodily injury and aggravated assault.
In a statement to The Daily Caller, the State Department confirmed that arrests have been made.
Holman told the judge that Yildirim has received death threats because of the case. U.S. Marshals detained two more on June 14 - one in Virginia and one in New Jersey.
Both men are Turkish nationals and were arrested on charges of aggravated assault, according to Commander Rob Fernandez of the task force.
The fracas added to already strained U.S.
Shortly after the clash, footage surfaced showing Erdogan watching from the residence's driveway as members of his security detail beat up demonstrators. "We make sure they are safe, but we also make sure they follow our laws", she said.
Erdogan said the protesters were members of an outlawed Kurdish militant group and the US police failed to act.
Some additional suspects still have not been identified, the police chief said.
A total of 18 arrest warrants have now been issued over the brawl, which left nine people in the hospital after the fight escalated outside of the Turkish ambassador's D.C. residence.
The Turkish government has blamed the violence on the protesters, whom they allege were linked with the PKK, considered a terrorist group by the U.S.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert would not say whether the United States plans to seek the extradition of the security officials, who returned to Turkey prior to the completion of the investigation, avoiding arrest.
The State Department responded by saying "violence is never an appropriate response to free speech" and that officials are "communicating our concern with the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms".