He knows it did definitely enter Syrian airspace. He knows that was, as INTENDED.
It was not a mistake. It does not happen due to the high speeds that the jets fly.
It does not happen as "routine"
All that is spin. All that is lies
Fighter pilots KNOW when and how not to enter another nation's airspace.
That is what they are trained for!
That fact that he is acknowledging the fighter plane entered Syrian airspace is enough to be sure that Turkey did in fact, blatantly enter Syrian airspace.
"Turkey's President Abdullah Gul acknowledged Saturday that a Turkish military jet shot down by Syrian artillery may have entered Syria's airspace, according to the semi-official Anatolia news agency.
"When you take in to account the speeds at which jet planes travel over the sea, it is routine for planes to go in and out of borders," he is quoted as saying by the news agency."It is something that happens without bad intentions and that happens due to the high speeds."
Recalling a similar story that happens often enough in northern Canada:
The government of Canada, the Conservatives specifically, used to leak these reports regularly for perception management reasons. Demonize Russia.
Russian Fighter Jets Buzz Canadian Airspace- Or the North American Perimeter depending on source of info
Routine air patrols by the Russians pilots who despite flying at high speeds never enter Canadian/North American airspace.
Russian flights are routine and the Conservatives are playing domestic politics at the expense of international diplomacy.
"How are we going to work with a country we have just chastised for not even coming into our airspace?"
Or: "Canada intercepted a pair of nuclear-capable (but they carry no nukes) Russian bombers Wednesday as they approached the North American nation's airspace"
The Russian jets and pilots do not enter Canadian/North American airspace. Despite their high speeds.
Getting back to the Turkish Presidents claims- They are lies. They are spin. The flight into Syrian territory was intentional. Turkey wanted to see what the reaction would be. They tested the waters at a very dangerous time. They put their own pilots at jeopardy for provocation purposes. Turkey undertook an act of war. One among so many they have been involved in.
Turkey is backing away. For the time being. It was not insignificant that the President let this admission out.
BBC is reporting : Turkish warplane downed by Syria 'may have crossed border'
The National: Turkey: our jet may have violated Syria airspace
The claims that this was done in error are simply not credible.
When a military pilot is delivering his "pay load" he knows exactly where he is. That is his job.
Or alternatively, is Turkey implying their air force is inept, which is very unflattering to both the air force and how Turkey conducts the training of their pilots.
Marie/Marty mentioned a possibility of linking this to Russia? It's possible but if this spins in any direction it will be towards demonizing Iran. The plane went down very near Latakia. Syria and Iran have a security agreement with regards to the Latakia facility. I have covered this somewhere on the blog previously.
Some additional reading:
* Iran agrees to fund Syrian military base
*Report: Iran to bankroll military base in Syria
* Iran to build new base in Syria
This reconstruction was to be completed by the end of 2012
`"Under the terms of this new deal, Iran is to assist with the development of a new military compound which is to be completed by the end of the year at Latakia airport. Their objective is to open a new supply route that will enable Iran to directly transfer military equipment to Syria."