Turkey demands US fire envoy in spat over Syrian Kurds

But Erdogan's government views the Syrian Kurdish group known as the YPG as an extension of a Kurdish terrorist organization that operates in Turkey.

Erdogan said he told the United States that Turkey could not be part of the operation to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State because of the participation of the YPG.

The Metropolitan Police Department said it had arrested two people for assault and identified them as USA residents, 49-year-old Ayten Necmi of NY and 42-year-old Jalal Kheirabadi of Virginia.

Ankara launched its "Euphrates Shield" operation inside Syria previous 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 YPG. "We are telling you this now in advance", he said.

His comments came hours after Ankara said the United States should dismiss its special envoy in the battle against Islamic State, citing his support for the Kurdish militia.

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

Ankara considers the YPG to be a terrorist group linked to the outlawed PKK, which has been fighting a decades-long insurgency in Turkey. "It would be beneficial for this person to change", he said, accusing the diplomat of carrying on Obama-administration policies.

"The actions seen outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC stand in contract to the First Amendment rights and principles we work tirelessly to protect every single day", a police statement said.

Differences over Syria policy have caused friction with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Washington.

A State Department official said the Turkish security that was involved appears to be a mix of Turkish embassy and Erdogan security staff. Video shows people pushing past police to confront a small group of protesters across the street in Sheridan Circle.

Witnesses told AFP that members of Erdogan's security detail pushed past Washington police outside the ambassador's residence and attacked a group of supporters of a Kurdish group.

"Just previous year, when Erdogan was back in the States for a summit on nuclear security, at Brookings, outside Brookings, [in Washington, D.C.], there were similar protests and similar unseemly scenes of clashes along Massachusetts Avenue".

McCain said "this kind of thing can not go un-responded to diplomatically".

At their meeting Tuesday, Trump said the US would re-establish its military and economic partnership with Turkey, committing to backing Turkey's defense against both Islamic State and the PKK.

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