Members of the Turkish Youth Union attack sailors from USS Ross, reports say
Bags placed over sailors' heads during a stop in Istanbul, U.S. military officials say
"The three sailors were unharmed and are safely back aboard," spokesman says
Three U.S. Navy sailors were assaulted and had bags placed over their heads during a stop in Istanbul, Turkey, according to U.S. military officials.
The incident, captured on video, happened Wednesday when sailors from the USS Ross were attacked by members of the Turkish Youth Union, according to local Turkish press accounts.
“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 with U.S. European Command told CNN.
The assailants appeared to be neo-nationalists shouting slogans like “Yankee Go Home,” according to local press accounts. They did not appear to be tied to ISIS, which is based in neighboring Syria.
“The incident does not reflect the hospitality nor the welcome reception our ships receive in port in Turkey,” Hicks went on to say, and added that leave for sailors from the ship was canceled for the remainder of the day.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara condemned the attack through its official Twitter feed.
’We condemn today’s attack in Istanbul, and have no doubt the vast majority of Turks would join us in rejecting an action that so disrespects Turkey’s reputation for hospitality.”
CNN’s Samira Said and Hande Atay contributed to this report.