US shoots down unidentified object over Canada


nother unidentified cylindrical object has been shot down over North American airspace, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed on Saturday.

It was the second such incident in as many days after the US also shot down an identified object over Alaska on Friday.

Last weekend the US military also shot down a Chinese spying balloon off the coast of South Carolina.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadian forces would recover and analyse the wreckage which had been flying over the northern Yukon territory.

Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand declined to speculate about the origin of the object, which she said was cylindrical in shape.

She stopped short of calling it a balloon but said it was smaller than the Chinese balloon shot down off South Carolina’s coast a week ago, though similar in appearance.

The object was flying at 40,000 feet and posed a risk to civilian air traffic, she added.

It was and was shot down at 3:41 EST (2041 GMT).

“There is no reason to believe that the impact of the object in Canadian territory is of any public concern,” Anand told a news conference.

The Pentagon said NORAD detected the object over Alaska late on Friday.

US fighter jets from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, monitored the object as it crossed over into Canadian airspace, where Canadian CF-18 and CP-140 aircraft joined the formation.

“A US F-22 shot down the object in Canadian territory, using an AIM 9X missile following close co-ordination between U.S. and Canadian authorities,” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said in a statement.

US President Joe Biden authorised the US military to work with Canada to take down the high-altitude craft after a call between Biden and Trudeau, the Pentagon said.

The White House said Biden and Trudeau agreed to continue close coordination to “defend our airspace.”

“The leaders discussed the importance of recovering the object in order to determine more details on its purpose or origin,” it said in a statement.

A day earlier, Biden ordered another shootdown of an unidentified flying object near Deadhorse, Alaska.

On Friday, the Pentagon offered only a few details, such as that the object was the size of a small car, was flying at about 40,000 feet (12,200 m), could not maneuver and appeared to be unmanned.

Officials have been trying to learn about the object since it was first spotted on Thursday.

“We have no further details at this time about the object, including its capabilities, purpose, or origin,” Northern Command said on Saturday.

It mentioned difficult Arctic weather conditions, including wind chill, snow, and limited daylight that can hinder search and recovery.

“Personnel will adjust recovery operations to maintain safety,” it added.

On Februrary 4 a F-22 fighter jet brought down what the US government called a Chinese surveillance balloon.

China has said it was a civilian research vessel.

Some US lawmakers criticised Biden for not shooting down the Chinese balloon sooner.

The US military had recommended waiting until it was over the ocean, for fear of injuries from falling debris.

The Pentagon has said a significant amount of the balloon has been recovered or located, suggesting American officials may soon have more information about any Chinese espionage capabilities aboard.

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