Watch: Turkish Mob Attacks US Sailors, Place Bags on Their Heads

Video footage shows US Navy sailors surrounded by anti-American mob in Istanbul in shocking assault.

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Ari Soffer,

Anti-government protests in Turkey
Anti-government protests in Turkey
Reuters

Several US Navy sailors narrowly escaped a mob of anti-American extremists in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Wednesday.

A video circulating online shows the moment a number of American sailors from the USS Ross were assaulted by anarchists identified as belonging to the far-left Turkish Youth Union.

After initially surrounding the sailors, the group's leader addresses them in English, telling them they should "get out" of the country.

"Because we define you as murderers, as killers, we want you to get out of our land," he says, before another activist hurls a paint bomb at the American group.

Things turned uglier still as the Turkish extremists began physically assaulting the sailors while shouting "Yankee Go Home!" - chillingly placing a bag over the head of one of them - before they manage to break free and escape.

"US Navy officials are working with the embassy and NCIS to investigate the incident. The three sailors were unharmed and are safely back aboard. They did not require medical attention," Capt. Greg Hicks, a spokesman for the US European Command told CNN.

"The incident does not reflect the hospitality nor the welcome reception our ships receive in port in Turkey," he added, although he did say that leave from the ship was cancelled for the rest of the day as a precaution. 

The US Embassy condemned the attack on Twitter, adding: "(we) have no doubt the vast majority of Turks would join us in rejecting an action that so disrespects Turkey's reputation for hospitality."