Russia Urges Syria, Turkey Against Clashes

MOSCOW, June 26 (RIA Novosti) – The downing of a Turkish jet by Syrian forces should not be considered a provocation or allowed to further destabilize the situation in the region, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

“The escalation of politics and propaganda, including on the international level, is especially dangerous when efforts are being undertaken to mobilize all major outside players to channel the situation in Syria in a political direction,” ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

Russia is concerned with the situation and urges both Ankara and Damascus to cooperate in the investigation of the incident, Lukashevich said in a statement on the ministry’s website.

Syria shot down a Turkish F-4 fighter jet over the Mediterranean Sea last Friday.

Syrian officials said the jet invaded the country’s airspace, while Turkey insisted it was attacked over international waters.

The attack prompted fears that Turkey may use the incident as a pretext to launch a military operation in Syria, torn by a civil war that killed at least 12,000 since March 2011, according to UN estimates.

A NATO meeting called at Turkey’s request denounced the attack on the jet on Tuesday, but said the incident would not be viewed as aggression against the alliance, which could have given NATO a valid pretext to attack Syria.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Tuesday that the incident has exposed “the paranoia that has gripped the Syrian Army.”

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