"The situation as it evolved over the last month: On top of a raging internal conflict… you now have five states’ military forces — US, Russian, Turkish and Israeli, [and Syrian] at least in the air over and around Syria — bumping into each other," Jeffrey said on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. "We just saw a dramatic example of what we are trying to avoid on a larger scale."
"This is the kind of escalation scenario we urgently need to stop," Jeffrey said.
On September 17, a Russian military Il-20 was downed over the Mediterranean Sea by a missile launched by Syria's S-200 air defense system that was targeting Israeli aircraft.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Israeli F-16 jets flying in the vicinity used the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defenses. The incident claimed the lives of 15 Russian servicemen.
Israel has denied the accusations that its jets used the Russian airplane as a shield and has maintained that Russia was informed about the air raid in a timely manner.