Drivers lining up to buy gasoline in crisis-hit Venezuela, close to the border with Colombia, where the US military is shipping another 200 tons of military aid (Juan BARRETO)

Washington (AFP) – The US military will transport some 200 tons of humanitarian aid to Colombia to help relieve the crisis in neighboring Venezuela, a US defense official said Friday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement, the official said the aid would be sent in the coming days, most likely aboard a C-17 transport plane.

In a statement, the Pentagon said the US “remains deeply concerned about the crisis in Venezuela that has consequences for the entire region.”

Venezuela is plagued by hyperinflation and major shortages of basic goods, with opposition leader Juan Guaido and President Nicolas Maduro vying for control of the country.

Tensions have risen since the US first sent humanitarian aid to Colombia, only for the Venezuelan authorities to block a bridge to prevent its entry into Venezuela.

President Donald Trump warned Venezuela this week that “all options” are on the table, and demanded that Maduro unblock US aid shipments to the country.

The defense official stressed that any Pentagon involvement in the crisis was purely logistical assistance in bringing aid.

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