US shoots down ‘high-altitude object’ over Alaska on President Biden’s orders, White House says
The Pentagon shot down a “high-altitude object” over Alaska on Friday at the direction of President Biden, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed at a briefing at the White House on Friday. The incident was reported by the Department of Defense chinese spy balloon crossed most of the continental United States
Asked about the possibility of another object hovering in U.S. airspace, Kirby said, “I can confirm that the Pentagon has tracked a high-altitude object over Alaska in the last 24 hours.” The Pentagon is still evaluating this newest object and it is not clear who owned it or what its purpose was.
Kirby says this latest object is the size of a “small car” and is in a “very sparsely populated” area, making it easier to take down than a Chinese spy balloon larger than the Liberty Act. Kirby said the president’s main concern is the threat this latest object poses to civilian flight.
“The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and posed a substantial threat to civilian flight safety,” Kirby said. “Out of caution, and on Pentagon recommendations, President Biden ordered the military to unload the object, and they did it, and it fell within our territorial waters.Those waters are now frozen, Within the airspace and over territorial waters . . fighters assigned to the U.S. Northern Command shot down the object within the last hour.”
Asked about the surgery, Biden told reporters on Friday that it was “successful.”
The FAA has closed part of northern Alaska airspace to support Pentagon operations.
Kirby said the United States would attempt to retrieve the object, which appeared to be unmanned or non-maneuverable.
“The object did not enter Canadian airspace,” Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said in a statement on Friday.
At a Pentagon briefing, Pentagon spokesman Gen. Patrick Ryder said the object was detected on radar on Thursday, Feb. 9 and was “further investigated and identified” by fighter jets.
“The U.S. Northern Command is now beginning recovery operations,” Ryder said. Union Command is currently heading to the area to recover wreckage, including aircraft such as HC130, HH60 and CH47, according to U.S. officials.
Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan said he was briefed on the purpose by the Pentagon on Friday morning.
“Alaska is the first line of defense for our country, and this has become even more apparent in the past few weeks,” he said. said in a series of tweets.
The Pentagon said the Chinese spy balloon that crossed the United States before being shot down in South Carolina on Saturday was part of a “larger Chinese surveillance balloon program” that has been operating on multiple continents for several years. says there is.
The Biden administration has faced heavy criticism for its decision to allow a Chinese surveillance balloon to cross the United States for about a week before being shot down over the Atlantic. Administrative officials said the decision was made because of the risk to civilians on the ground. But some Republican lawmakers, like this small object, wanted it removed when it was on the water off the coast of Alaska. received.
The previous balloons known to the United States have flown over Hawaii, Texas and parts of Florida, with three during the Trump administration and one during the early years of the Biden administration.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-shoots-down-high-altitude-object-alaska/ US shoots down ‘high-altitude object’ over Alaska on President Biden’s orders, White House says