United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his deep concern about the shooting down of a Turkish military jet shot over Syria – and particularly about the potential serious implications of the incident for the region – in a telephone call on Saturday with Turkey's Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.
“He [Secretary-General Ban] commended Turkey for the restraint shown in its initial reaction and appreciated Turkey and Syria for conducting a joint search operation,” according to Mr. Ban's spokesperson, who added that Mr. Ban urged both countries to continue to address the situation diplomatically.
Mr. Ban's spokesperson added that the Secretary-General also said that his thoughts were with the families of the missing pilots, and the United Nations was prepared to provide any support which would be helpful in these “difficult circumstances.”
According to media reports, the Turkish military jet was shot down, apparently by a surface-to-air missile, over the Syrian coastline on Friday, raising concerns over regional tensions related to the situation in Syria.
The UN estimates that more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria and tens of thousands displaced since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 16 months ago.