ANKARA - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hopes Turkey and Syria will exercise restraint over Syria's downing of a Turkish jet fighter over the Mediterranean, his spokesman said on Saturday.

"The secretary-general is following the situation closely. He hopes this serious incident can be handled with restraint by both sides through diplomatic channels," Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said in an emailed statement.

The Turkish military said it had lost contact with one of its F-4 fighter jets off the southern Turkish coast near Syria on Friday morning and Damascus later acknowledged it had shot the plane down.

Turkey has so far been measured in its response to the incident although Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office has said Ankara will act "decisively" but only when all the details are known.

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