The U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) reported on Sunday that a Venezuelan figher jet “aggressively shadowed” a U.S. Navy Intelligence aircraft flying a routine mission over the Caribbean Sea on Friday.
The U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries II aircraft was in international airspace when the Venezuelan jet approached it “in an unprofessional manner” that endangered the safety of personnel on both aircraft. The U.S. plane was “adhering to international standards and rules” at the time of the incident, SOUTHCOM said, according to Fox News.
Venezuela claimed that the Navy aircraft entered its airspace and that it escorted the plane out of that space. Venezuelan officials also said there have been 76 similar incidents this year.
“Despite the Venezuelan people’s suffering, his nation’s vital infrastructure crumbling, and children starving, Maduro chooses to use his country’s precious resources to engage in unprovoked and unjustified acts,” the SOUTHCOM statement read.
The U.S. and Venezuela have been locked in a struggle over whether the current president Nicolas Maduro should step down in the midst of an economic and humanitarian crisis there. But the White House may have to rethink its strategy after Venezuela’s air force got aggressive.
Read the full story here.