Turkish police detained and then released 12 members of the Turkish Youth Union (TGB) in connection with Wednesday's attack, which left none of the Americans injured but drew swift condemnation from the Pentagon and the U.S. Embassy in Ankara. In the attack, in the city's historic Eminönü neighborhood, a throng of young men surrounded the sailors, taunting and jostling them, spattering them with red paint and pulling bags over their heads in a tactic the TGB favors to express anti-American sentiment before chasing them down a street, informs Report citing BBC News.
"The bags we put over the American soldiers are for the nations of Palestine and Syria," a statement from the TGB, a fringe group with scant membership or support inside Turkey, said.
The sailors made it safely back aboard the guided missile destroyer the USS Ross, Capt. Greg Hicks, a spokesman at European Command, told Fox News. The ship had been docked in Turkey following a NATO drill in the Black Sea, according to U.S. officials. The Ross routinely makes patrols in the Mediterranean from its home port in Rota, Spain.
The assailants were detained by Turkish police on allegations of injuring, insult and violation of the public demonstration law and released with the possibility of facing charges.