Russia asks UN to discuss Turkey's actions in Syria, Iraq

Russia asks United Nations to discuss Turkish military's actions in Iraq, Syria amid increasing tensions

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Members of the United Nations Security Council

Diplomats said on Monday that Russia has asked the United Nations (UN) Security Council to discuss Turkish military action in Iraq and Syria as tensions continue to rise between Russia and Turkey after the country shot a Russian warplane on November 24.

Russia's UN mission made no immediate comment on the topics to be discussed. 

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

The talks are expected to follow a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council  on unrelated issues beginning at 3 pm ET (1900 GMT) on Tuesday, the diplomats said.

The meeting will be chaired by the the United States, president of the Security Council this month.

Moscow, the main ally of Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad, has denied that its plane violated the Turkish airspace, claiming that it was shot down over Syria where Russia has been undertaking a campaign of air strikes in support of Assad.  

However, Turkey said the plane was warned several times before it was downed.

The Russian jet was shot down by Turkey for violating its airspace near the Syrian-Turkish border on Nov 24.

Business and political ties between Moscow and Ankara have declined since the incident. 

Western officials state that Russia has been targeting Syrian rebels - including western-trained groups - rather than DAESH terrorists, who have been in control of wide swathes of Syria and Iraq since 2014 and have executed operations in such countries as Libya and Yemen.

The Turkish Military on Friday deployed approximately 150 soldiers and dispatched 20 tanks to the town of Bashiqa, located in Iraq’s northern province of Mosul, to replace troops that have been in the region for two and a half years, where they have been training Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

The mission was initiated with the knowledge of the US-led coalition and is part of a routine military exercise against the DAESH terrorist organisation, according to Turkish security sources.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has written a letter to his Iraqi counterpart Haider al Abadi following al Abadi’s call for Turkish troops to be withdrawn from the town of Bashika.

Davutoglu told al Abadi that Ankara had no intention of harming Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“There will be no deployment of forces to Bashika [a town in Mosul] until the sensitivities of Iraq are addressed," the letter said, according to sources from the Turkish prime ministry.

Davutoglu also assured that Turkey will continue providing support to Baghdad in its fight against DAESH.

TRTWorld and agencies