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Jan-09-2010 17:03printcomments

Chavez Scrambles F-16's Over US Plane's Reported Violation of Venezuelan Airspace

The US Southern Command claims that its surveillance operations are 'only' meant to counter drug trafficking in South America.

F-16 fighters from the Venezuelan Air Force
F-16 fighters from the Venezuelan Air Force
Courtesy: venezuelanalysis.com

(CARACAS, Venezuela PRESS TV) - Venezuela has scrambled two F-16 fighter jets to ward off a US 'military plane' amid reports of "US trespassing the country's airspace."

President Hugo Chavez has ordered the fighters to confront a US P-3 maritime patrol aircraft that had purportedly violated Venezuela's airspace, Reuters quoted the Venezuelan president Friday.

"They are provoking us ... these are warplanes," Chavez noted, showing a picture of the plane, which he said, had taken off from US military bases on the Netherlands' Caribbean islands and from neighboring Colombia on two separate occasions.

He said the Venezuelan fighter jets forced the US plane away after the 'incursions.'

Meanwhile, Pentagon officials have denied the charges and expressed unawareness of the latest development.

"We can confirm no US military aircraft entered Venezuelan airspace today. As a matter of policy we do not fly over a nation's airspace without prior consent or coordination," Reuters quoted an unnamed Defense Department Spokesperson as saying on January 8.

The US Southern Command claims that its surveillance operations are 'only' meant to counter drug trafficking in South America.

Courtesy: Press TV




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