Venezuela's defense chief slams attacks by irregular Colombian forces
Iran Press TV
Friday, 02 April 2021 6:30 PM
Venezuela's defense chief has condemned attacks by irregular Colombian forces in the South American country, describing them as false-flag ops aimed at terrorizing the Venezuelan population.
"They will not be able to frighten Venezuelans, and they will not make Venezuela become a lawless nation like Colombia," Defense Minister General Vladimir Padrino wrote in a Twitter post on Monday.
He warned that such "false-flag" operations in Venezuela's Apure State were backed by Western media propaganda to sway public opinion.
He said the attacks by irregular Colombian forces using explosives and weapons targeted Venezuelan population centers and border military posts.
In comments broadcast last week, the defense minister warned the armed groups of a "resounding response".
"Our problem is that an armed group, outside of the law, linked to narcotrafficking, and following a clear strategy of imperialism with the Colombian government, acts against Venezuela.
"For me, this is continued situation, a continued situation of all the aggression that comes from Colombia; it's no more coincidence. Whatever group -- whatever their ideological, political tendency, their origin --... comes and attempts to perch itself on this ground will receive a resounding response from the Bolivian National Armed Forces... We'll keep them out," Padrino said.
According to Cuban media reports, earlier in the week, Padrino also detailed the nature of the attacks by the Colombian armed groups and the retaliatory measures taken by Venezuelan forces to foil armed incursions.
Reading from a statement, the minister said that since March 21, within the framework of the operation "Bolivarian Shield 2021," the Strategic Operational Command of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces had been carrying out action against armed irregular Colombian groups in Apure State.
"Counting on support from Colombia and the US CIA, these criminal gangs are engaged in drug trafficking, extortion, kidnapping, human trafficking, sexual exploitation of girls and adolescents, smuggling and illegal mining, among other crimes," he said.
According to local media reports, six members of irregular Colombian groups have been killed in clashes with Venezuelan forces in Apure.
The minister said Colombia had now become a territory to conspire against neighboring Venezuela and added that the recent operations also involved the seizure of weapons, grenades, ammunition, explosives, military uniforms, vehicles, drug packages, and technological equipment containing information related to the activities of the irregular Colombian groups.
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