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Russia calls on UNSC to hold talks on Turkey military actions: UN diplomat

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows a session of the United Nations Security Council.

Russia has called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to hold closed-door discussions on Turkish military actions in Syria and Iraq, a UN diplomat says.

"We don't have details, but Russia has asked to discuss the issue of Turkish action in Iraq and Syria," the diplomat told Reuters on Monday.

The discussions were expected to be held following a meeting of the 15-member council on Tuesday, the diplomat said.

Tensions have been running high between Ankara and Moscow following the recent shooting down of a Russian bomber by a Turkish warplane.

On November 24, Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M jet in Syrian airspace, claiming that the aircraft had violated the Turkish airspace. Russia rejects Turkey’s claim, saying the aircraft was over Syria, where Moscow has been carrying out airstrikes against terrorist groups operating in the Arab country.

Separately, Iraqi officials have recently accused Turkey of violating the country’s sovereignty by deploying hundreds of soldiers to a camp in northern Iraq.

Baghdad has threatened to refer the case to the Security Council unless Ankara withdraws its forces.

On Monday, Turkey said it would not withdraw its forces, claiming that the troops are there as part of an international mission to train and equip Iraqi forces to fight Daesh terrorists. The Iraqi government, however, says it has never invited such a force.

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