Russian to Turks: Redress jet's loss

MOSCOW -- A top Russian diplomat said Wednesday that Turkey should provide compensation for the Russian warplane it shot down near the Syrian border last month, a call Turkey promptly rejected.

The downing of the Su-24 and the deaths of two Russian servicemen have strained relations between the countries.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov told state news agency RIA Novosti on Wednesday that Russia still expects Turkey to apologize, provide compensation and guarantee that it will never happen again.

The Russian Su-24 was on a bombing mission near the Turkish-Syrian border with a two-man crew when it was shot down Nov. 24. One of the pilots was killed, and the second was rescued. A Russian marine was killed during the rescue operation.

Turkey said the jet violated its airspace, but Russia has denied that claim, saying it would show the jet's black box to international experts to prove its point.

In Ankara, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman on Wednesday indicated that Moscow shouldn't expect an apology or compensation.

"If [Russia] guarantees that there won't be a violation of Turkish airspace, a similar incident won't happen again," Tanju Bilgic said.

After the plane was shot down, Russia imposed economic sanctions on Turkey, including a ban on food imports. It also took the issue of Turkey's deployment of troops in Iraq to the United Nations Security Council.

In fighting the Islamic State, Turkey has stationed military advisers at a training camp in Iraq, without permission from Iraq's government. On Wednesday, the U.S. put pressure on Turkey to pull any unauthorized troops from Iraq.

Vice President Joe Biden, in a phone call with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, said the deployment "occurred without the prior consent of the Iraqi government," according to a White House statement.

Turkey has stationed trainers at the camp since last year. Citing threats from the Islamic State, Turkey recently sent an unspecified number of reinforcements to the camp.

The Islamic State attacked the camp Wednesday, killing three Iraqi Sunni fighters.

Al-Abadi has said foreign forces aren't needed to fight the Islamic State in Iraq.

In its statement, the White House said Biden had called on Turkey to pull out "any military forces from Iraqi territory that have not been authorized by the Iraqi government."

A Section on 12/17/2015

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