The downing of a Russian fighter jet
by Turkey is a "huge moment" and is beginning to look like World War III, former CIA operative Bob Baer says.
"This mosaic in the Middle East of conflict is getting out of control," Baer said Tuesday on CNN's "Out Front."
"It's not just Russia and Turkey, it's Iran and Saudi Arabia. It is expanding rather than contracting, and nobody has a strategic plan."
Baer said he wouldn't be surprised if there is a wider conflict between Turkey and Russia unless the United States steps in.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will respond, he said, including putting batteries or surface-to-air missiles in Syria.
"I wouldn't put it past him. He's not going to back down," Baer said. Putin has said Russia's military presence in Syria is an act of self-defense because people from the North Caucuses are going to Syria, getting training and one day will come back.
"That's the way he framed this conflict," Baer said. "The chances of this escalating from here without deconfliction of any sort are pretty good."
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