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Venezuela fighter jet 'aggressively shadowed' U.S. airplane

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A Venezuelan Su-30 fighter jet "aggressively shadowed" a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the Caribbean Sea, the military announced Sunday.

A Lockheed Martin-made EP-3 aircraft was followed "at an unsafe distance" in the incident, which took place on Friday. In a tweet, the U.S. Southern Command alleged that the shadowing was "jeopardizing the crew & aircraft."

The U.S. insisted the aircraft was engaged in a "multi-nationally recognized & approved mission in international airspace." It was unclear where exactly the incident took place. The US released photos and a video.

The military pointed the finger at Russia, accusing Moscow of "irresponsible military support" for President Nicolas Maduro. Moscow has denied it is bolstering the Venezuelan government in the way the U.S. has alleged in recent months.

The U.S. is calling for Maduro to be ousted and supports the opposition, which recently failed in an effort to carry out a coup against the president.

The military said the latest incident "underscores Maduro's recklessness & irresponsible behavior."


U.S. and Russian military planes have had several incidents in recent months of shadowing, escorting and counter-actions.

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