EU warns of 'spillover' threat in Syria region following Israeli air strikes

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Union's executive on Monday expressed "great concern" following Israeli air strikes against Syrian targets and warned against an escalation of the conflict.

"We are looking with great concern at the recent developments in and around Syria," said Mr Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, adding that they "risk dragging the region into expanding conflict".

"We call on all parties to avoid jeopardising what is already a fragile security situation," said Mr Mann, who named no names but urged all sides to engage in the search for a political solution.

"We want to avoid spillover effects," he added.

Israel is yet to officially confirm it struck Syrian targets in the Friday and Sunday strikes.

Damascus will respond to Israeli attacks but will "choose the moment" and may not do so immediately, a Syrian political official said on Monday.

The weekend raids killed at least 15 soldiers, a watchdog said as United Nations chief Ban Ki Moon led calls for restraint to prevent the war spilling over borders.