US military complains Venezuelan jet ‘aggressively shadowed’ its spy plane… blames Russia

A Venezuelan Su-30 fighter “aggressively shadowed” an American spy plane over the Caribbean Sea, the US military said, claiming the jet was at an “unsafe distance” and blaming Russia for its “irresponsible” support for Caracas.

Footage of the Russian-made Su-30 aircraft approaching a US EP-3 reconnaissance plane was released by the Southern Command on Sunday. The US military said the incident took place over the Caribbean Sea on July 19, but did not indicate how close the EP-3 was to the Venezuelan border, stating that the planes were in international airspace.

The actions of the Venezuelan plane were “jeopardizing” to the US aircraft and its crew, Southern Command said, claiming it was at an “unsafe distance.” The Su-30 does not seem to have any visible weaponry, however planes of the type usually come fitted with an internal autocannon.

The tweet comes after Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino accused the US spy plane of entering the Flight Information Region (FIR) Maiquetía, controlled by the country, without authorization. This violated the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and “constituted an aeronautical risk for other aircraft,” Padrino said.

Brief footage showing the US spy plane –apparently captured from the Su-30 – was released by Venezuela.

🛑ALERTA| #CEOFANB Sistema de Defensa Aeroespacial del CODAI detectó e interceptó aeronave EE.UU. EP-3E de inteligencia y exploración radio electrónica en nuestra región de información de vuelo Maiquetia, violando Tratados Aéreos Internacionales en franca provocación a la RBV.

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Since the Venezuelan plane was Russian-made, the US military did not hesitate to blame its favorite bogeyman – Moscow – for the incident. It is proof of “Russia’s irresponsible military support” for the Venezuelan government, as well as of President Nicolas Maduro’s undermining of “efforts to counter illicit trafficking,” the military said. Russian Su-30s were purchased by Caracas in the mid-2000s, in the Hugo Chavez era.

2 of 2: This action demonstrates #Russia’s irresponsible military support to Maduro's illegitimate regime & underscores Maduro’s recklessness & irresponsible behavior, which undermines int’l rule of law & efforts to counter illicit trafficking. Pics & vids 

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Amid ongoing US-backed attempts to oust Maduro and install self-styled ‘interim-president’ Juan Guaido, Washington has repeatedly called upon Moscow to stop its cooperation with Venezuela and “get out” of the country. Russia says the cooperation, which is in compliance with all international rules, is only set to expand.

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