Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Germany May 18, 2017 Thursday US voices 'strongest' concern to Turkey after brawl outside residence By Frank Fuhrig, dpa WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The US State Department voiced its 'strongest possible' concern to Ankara on Wednesday after a melee outside the Turkish ambassador's residence following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit this week in Washington. The incident, which occurred on Tuesday night, left 11 people plus one officer injured, Washington Police Chief Peter Newsham said. 'We are concerned by the violent incidents involving protestors and Turkish security personnel Tuesday evening,' State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. 'Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest.' A video posted by Voice of America (VOA), a US government-funded international broadcaster, showed uniformed police unable to hold back a rush of mostly men in dark business suits across Sheridan Circle, a north-west Washington roundabout where the ambassador's residence is located. VOA reported that some of the participants in the scuffle were Erdogan bodyguards. In the video, the mob pushes across the street into about a dozen people holding placards in Sheridan Circle Park and a handful of brawls erupt among multiple combatants. One heavy-set man with a bullhorn around his neck tumbles to the ground, where two men in suits and a third attacker repeatedly punch, kick and stomp the victim, who curls into a fetal position. One of the suited attackers clutches a red flag. Later in the VOA video, the victim is seen stumbling around the park, his face and shirt bloodied. Washington broadcaster WJLA reported that the demonstrators included pro-Kurdish and Armenian activists protesting Erdogan's human rights record, as well as supporters of the Turkish president. Nine of the injured were transported to local hospitals, treated and released, Newsham said. Police officers at the scene had to call for backup and two arrests were made. A 49-year-old man from New York state faces a charge of aggravated assault, and a 42-year-old man from Fairfax, Virginia, faces a charge of assault on an officer, according to authorities. The incident 'appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protestors at the Turkish ambassador's residence,' Newsham said. Police have 'very good video' in the case, and federal law enforcement agencies are cooperating, he said. 'We intend to ensure that there is accountability for anyone that was involved in this assault,' Newsham said. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump vowed 'unbeatable' cooperation with Turkey against the Islamic State movement, after hosting Erdogan at the White House. 'We want to get as many (allies) to help fight terrorism as possible, and that's one of the beautiful things that's happening with Turkey. The relationship that we have together will be unbeatable,' Trump said. He promised to work with Erdogan 'on achieving peace and security in the Middle East, on confronting the shared threats, and on working toward a future of dignity and safety for all of our people.' The US and Turkey are both members of NATO. Groups opposed to Erdogan demonstrated earlier Tuesday outside the White House during his visit. On Monday night, about 50 Erdogan supporters rallied near the White House, waving Turkish flags and chanting Erdogan's name as he arrived in Washington.