Although Syrian state news agency SANA reported one Israeli aircraft was shot by Syria's defense systems, Israel has not confirmed yet whether the F-16 jet was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft fire or not.
Prior to the weekend's flare-up, ex-US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro criticized Tillerson's decision to skip Israel while in the Middle East.
Briefing reporters on Tillerson's February 11-16 trip to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Kuwait, US officials acknowledged there would be hard conversations at each stop.
Tillerson will arrive in Cairo late Sunday, days after Egyptian security forces launched major security operations against militants in the Sinai, Nile Delta and Western Desert. Tillerson will repeat warnings for Turkey to show restraint in military operations in Kurdish areas of Syria, according to US officials who talked with foreign media outlets on Sunday. His meetings Monday include President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. The opposition is boycotting as some potential rivals have been arrested or barred from running.
The Secretary will lead the U.S. delegation to the Ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Kuwait and participate in the Iraq Reconstruction Conference.
In Kuwait on Tuesday, Tillerson will attend a conference focusing on how to reconstruct a devastated Iraq in the years and decades ahead, relying largely on private-sector companies and worldwide financial organizations. The Secretary and his counterparts will discuss how the 74-member Global Coalition can ensure an enduring defeat for ISIS in Iraq and Syria, while sharpening the Coalition's focus on denying ISIS's global ambitions. Some 2,300 representatives from the private sector, including from more than 100 American companies, are slated to attend.
In Egypt, Tillerson will meet senior officials to discuss relations and regional issues.
On Jan. 21, Jordan's King Abdullah told US Vice President Mike Pence that Washington must rebuild "trust and confidence" in a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians after President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Jordan, which has a large Palestinian population, including refugees, is among the most concerned.
Tillerson will lead a USA delegation in Kuwait for a ministerial meeting of the US -led anti-Daesh coalition, and he will participate in a three-day Iran reconstruction conference. The US officials said Tillerson will repeat warnings for Turkey to show restraint in military operations in Kurdish areas of Syria.