Venezuela’s air forces detected and forced back two US aircraft that were collecting information on the Non-Aligned Movement summit.
“We know a military aircraft carried out flight patterns 130 nautical miles from Margarita island, collecting information [and] carrying out intelligence operations on the summit,” Venezuelan Defense Minister Lopez told press conference in Caracas on Tuesday, AP reported.
The statement came at the close of the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, which took place on the Venezuelan Caribbean island of Margarita on September 13-18.
A US Coast Guard Dash 8 conducted an operation near Venezuelan airspace both on Friday and Saturday without notifying the Venezuelan military’s air traffic controllers about its presence, thus “flagrantly violating international norms,” Lopez said.
“Our fighter jets, commanded by the president, flew out, intercepted the aircraft and informed [the crew] of the violation it was committing. The aircraft agreed to return to its base,” the minister added.
Lopez described the incident as a “provocation” caused by the fact that the US “underestimated” Venezuela’s capability to take counter-measures.