UN council to meet at Moscow's request on Syria, Iraq

AFP , Tuesday 8 Dec 2015

The UN Security Council will hold talks at Russia's request Tuesday on Turkey's military operations in Iraq and Syria, diplomats said.

The informal, closed door talks will be presided over by the United States, which heads the rotating presidency of the 15-nation council for the month of December.

"We want the secretariat to tell us what is happening in the region," said Peter Iliichev, Russia's representative to the UN Security Council.

"Every country that operates in the region should do it in coordination with the host country," said Iliichev, who said that for now, Moscow is not seeking specific UN action on the issue.

Relations between Moscow and Ankara have been tense since Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian fighter jet on the Syrian border on November 24.

Since then, Russia has imposed sanctions on Turkey, including a ban on the import of some Turkish foods and a halt on sales of Turkish holiday travel packages -- a major blow to the tourist industry.

Ankara has warned it could respond in kind, with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu saying on Tuesday that his government is considering retaliatory measures.

Meanwhile, Baghdad has demanded that Turkey withdraw its troops from northern Iraq, where Ankara has deployed a contingent of between 150 and 300 soldiers, backed by 20 tanks.

On Sunday, Baghdad gave Ankara 48 hours to remove its forces, but a senior Turkish official said this week that his government was unlikely to comply.

"It will depend on discussions," the Turkish official said.

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