According to Venezuela’s Interior Minister, Nestor Reverol, Venezuela’s air force shot down a US-registered aircraft suspected of trafficking drugs after it entered Venezuela’s airspace without authorization.
According to the Interior Minister, the incident took place Tuesday. The aircraft was shot down after illegally entering Venezuelan airspace in the province of Zulia, near the border with Colombia.
Venezuela’s military is equipped with advanced Russian military equipment which protects Venezuela’s airspace from hostile intrusions and facilitates the identification and interception of unauthorized aircraft, including the S-300 air defence system which is equipped with long-range radar, as well as Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets
The Strategic Command Operations of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (CEOFANB) also intercepted and brought down an illegal aircraft in July.
The announcement was made on the Interior Minister’s Twitter page.
“Disrupted drug trafficking aircraft with US registration, which illegally entered Venezuelan airspace through the state of Zulia. After detecting the illegal air unit with the radars of the Comprehensive Aerospace Defence Command (#Codai), the #Fanb officials activated all the protocols established in the Control Law for the Comprehensive Defence of Airspace.”
Los funcionarios de la #Fanb tras detectar la unidad aérea ilegal con los radares del Comando de Defensa Aeroespacial Integral (#Codai), activaron todos los protocolos establecidos en la Ley de Control para la Defensa Integral del Espacio Aéreo pic.twitter.com/LSB8xraFCx
— Néstor Reverol (@NestorLReverol) September 15, 2020
The protocols of the Control Law authorize the shooting down of any aircraft that enters the country’s airspace without authorization and refuses to respond to directions to identify itself and its objective, and to land at a designated location for inspection.
The protocols were promulgated in 2013 by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The US has repeatedly accused senior Venezuelan officials of drug trafficking and has even offered multi-million dollar rewards for information leading to their capture, including President Maduro at the top of the list. Other senior officials on the US reward list include senior military officials and the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
The officials that have been targetted have all dismissed the allegations as false and absurd, and the US has never offered any credible evidence to support its claims.
Most senior officials of the Venezuelan government and armed forces are also subject to targeted financial sanctions and travel bans by the US as standard practice, on top of the generalized sanctions and economic blockade that have been imposed unilaterally by the US on the Venezuelan economy and people as a whole.
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