US authorities say a Venezuelan fighter jet “aggressively shadowed” an American intelligence plane flying in international airspace over the Caribbean, underscoring rising tensions between the two nations.
The US Southern Command said Sunday that Venezuela’s action demonstrates reckless behavior by President Nicolás Maduro, whose government accused the US of breaking international rules.
US authorities say their EP-3 plane was performing a multi-nationally approved mission and the Venezuelan SU-30 fighter jet closely trailed the plane, which the US says endangered its crew.
Venezuela’s Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez says the US plane entered Venezuelan airspace without prior notification.
He says it also endangered commercial flights from Venezuela’s main airport.
The US backs opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s attempt to oust Maduro.