Media reports claim Russian Air Force planes landed in Caracas, Venezuela with defense officials and some 100 troops.
According to flight-tracking website Flightradar24, an Ilyushin IL-62 passenger jet and an Antonov AN-124 military cargo plane left for Caracas on Friday from Russian military airport Chkalovsky, stopping along the way in Syria.
Russian government-owned news agency Sputnik reported the defense officials were there to "exchange consultations".
Russia has various contracts that are in the process of being fulfilled, contracts of a technical military character. ~ quote reported by Sputnik from an alleged contact from the Russian embassy
The US has "levied crippling sanctions" against Venezuela in an effort to force disputed president Nicolas Maduro from power.