The incident occurred when the Colombian and US military participated in exercises near the Caribbean coast of Venezuela.
Venezuela reported that a “C-17 heavy military transport” from the United States crossed into its airspace on Thursday night for “a period of three minutes … making a journey of approximately 14 nautical miles,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Defence.
“This flagrant provocation occurred during joint military exercises of the Colombian Air Force and Army in the Departments of Antioquia and Cundinamarca, respectively, in which there is also a presence of US F-16 and RC135 fighter jets for strategic exploration”, added. .
On July 16, the Colombian Air Force reported joint military training exercises with the United States “with the objective of improving interoperability with allied countries.”
“We are aware that as part of the aforementioned exercises, reconnaissance tasks are being carried out towards the Venezuelan geographic space, so we do not rule out other possible hostile actions against our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said the Venezuelan government.
President Nicolás Maduro “has issued precise orders to remain alert and respond forcefully to any act of aggression,” the text warns.
Venezuela does not have diplomatic relations with the United States and Colombia, a country with which it shares a porous border of more than 2,200 kilometers (1,367 miles).
Caracas’ relations with Bogotá and Washington have been strained since the presidency of the late Hugo Chávez, but tensions escalated after the United States and Colombia recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president, considering Maduro’s re-election in 2018 fraudulent.
Maduro often denounces what he describes as plans to assassinate or overthrow him led by the two governments, his main international rivals.