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Testy Exchange Between U.S. Spokesman, Russian Reporter

Tensions between Moscow and Washington broke into the open December 10 in a testy exchange between the U.S. State Department's spokesman and a Russian reporter.

During a routine press briefing, spokesman John Kirby accused RT television channel reporter Gayane Chichakyan of asking "absolutely crazy," "ridiculous" questions related to a spat between Iraq and Turkey over Turkish troops in northern Iraq.

The state-funded TV reporter asked if the United States was responsible for Turkey's actions since it too has taken military action in Syria and Iraq without the government's permission, setting an example for Turkey.

After several minutes of back-and-forth, Kirby lost his usual cool demeanor and said: "I can't believe that you aren't embarrassed to ask these questions... They're absolutely crazy."

Kirby said all U.S. military actions in Iraq are coordinated with the government, and any suggestion otherwise is "just a completely baseless charge."

"I don't think it's worth having any more discussions about it," he said. "You can ask whatever you want... You can do that here in the United States... But I don't see you asking those same tough questions of your own government."

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

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