The U.S. army on Sunday accused a Venezuelan fighter plane of “aggressively” shadowing a U.S. Navy EP-Three Aries II airplane over worldwide airspace, a recent signal of rising hostility between the 2 international locations.
The encounter between the 2 planes occurred on Friday, the identical day that the Trump administration introduced it was imposing sanctions on 4 prime officers in Venezuela‘s army counterintelligence company.
In an announcement issued Sunday, the U.S. army mentioned that it had decided the “Russian-made fighter aggressively shadowed the EP-Three at an unsafe distance in worldwide airspace for a chronic time period, endangering the security of the crew and jeopardizing the EP-Three mission.”
The 2 planes didn’t collide and nobody was damage within the incident.
The U.S. army didn’t give particulars of the EP-Three’s mission nor say the place the encounter came about.
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In an announcement printed on Sunday by Venezuela‘s authorities, the South American nation’s armed forces mentioned they rejected “the incursion of a U.S. reconnaissance and intelligence plane” within the flight space surrounding Maiquetia airport, which serves the capital metropolis of Caracas.
The U.S. plane was detected in Venezuelan airspace on Friday morning and didn’t report its presence to native authorities, the assertion mentioned, including that it posed a threat to different planes within the space.
At 11.33 a.m. native time two Venezuelan fighter jets intercepted the plane and it was escorted out of Venezuela‘s airspace, the assertion mentioned.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has repeatedly used sanctions in an effort to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose 2018 re-election has been deemed illegitimate by the US and most Western nations.
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Maduro has retained the backing of Venezuela‘s army and different establishments, in addition to China, Russia and Cuba.
“The Maduro regime continues to undermine internationally acknowledged legal guidelines and show its contempt for worldwide agreements authorizing the U.S. and different nations to securely conduct flights in worldwide airspace,” the U.S. army mentioned in an announcement.
The assertion additionally took a swing at Russia, saying the shut encounter within the air “demonstrates Russia’s irresponsible army help to the illegitimate Maduro regime.”