A Venezuelan fighter aircraft made an “unsafe approach” to a U.S. Navy aircraft flying in international airspace, jeopardizing their safety, the U.S. military said Sunday. Video footage released by the military, shows the Venezuelan fighter jet closing in on the U.S. surveillance aircraft. “After reviewing video documentation, we have determined the Russian-made fighter aggressively shadowed the EP-3 at an unsafe distance in international airspace for a prolonged period of time, endangering the safety of the crew and jeopardizing the EP-3 mission,” the statement read.
Venezuela’s military claimed the U.S. aircraft was violating “security of air operations and international treaties,” and was forced to make the approach when the U.S. aircraft violated its airspace and refused to identify itself. After attempts to make contact with the U.S. crew failed, the Venezuelan air force used “persuasive” measures to force the plane to change course, according to a military statement. The government said this was the 76th time this year that there had been “this type of incident” with U.S. military.