The state-run Venezuelan channel Multimedio VTV has published a video that shows a US reconnaissance aircraft apparently violating Venezuela’s airspace on 19 July.
“The EP-3E plane was detected by the Aerospace Defence System of the CEOFANB [the Strategic Command Operations of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces] at 09:52 local time”, the footage’s captions read.
The video comes after the Venezuelan Defence Ministry said on Saturday that a US EP-3E spy plane had illegally entered Venezuela's airspace.
According to the ministry, the US aircraft “changed its course and left the area” after several Venezuelan warplanes were scrambled to intercept the EP-3E.
US Southern Command, in turn, accused a Venezuelan Air Force SU-30 fighter jet of “aggressively” shadowing an American spy plane, also blaming the Su-30 for “jeopardising the crew and aircraft” over what Southern Command described as “international airspace”.
This was followed by Venezuela’s Communications and Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez telling reporters on Monday that a US reconnaissance aircraft had violated Venezuelan airspace for the second time in three days.
“At this moment, the same or very similar aircraft is once again crossing into our zone of responsibility around the airport in Maiquetia” near the capital Caracas, he said, referring to the EP-3E plane.
He added that the US aircraft have violated Venezuela's airspace 78 times since the start of this year.
“These are reconnaissance planes and combat aircraft rather than those carrying humanitarian cargo”, Rodriguez added.