US jet shoots down ‘unidentified object’ over northern Canada

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On his orders, a US fighter jet shot down a “unidentified object” over Canadian airspace, according to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace. The object was shot down over the Yukon by @NORADCommand. “Canadian and United States aircraft were scrambled, and a United States F-22 successfully fired at the object,” Trudeau tweeted.

According to Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand, the object was “cylindrical” and smaller than the suspected Chinese balloon shot down last weekend.

The White House later confirmed that Trudeau and US President Joe Biden authorized the shoot-down, and the Pentagon said the object was first spotted over Alaska on Friday evening.

Trudeau stated on Saturday that he spoke with Biden and that Canadian forces will lead the object recovery operation.

The target was shot down. On Saturday, US aircraft shot down an object in North American airspace for the third time in a week. Saturday’s incident follows the downing of another unidentified object over Alaska on Friday, as well as the shoot-down of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon by a US F-22 fighter jet on February 4.

It’s unclear what the object shot down over Canada is or if it’s connected to the spy balloon shot down last week or the unidentified object shot down over Alaska on Friday.

According to a White House readout of a call between the two leaders on Saturday, both Biden and Trudeau authorized the removal of the object. The leaders “discussed the importance of recovering the object in order to determine more details on its purpose or origin,” according to the statement about the call.

According to a statement issued by Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder on Saturday, the object shot down was first noticed over Alaska on Friday evening. According to Ryder’s statement, two F-22 fighter jets “monitored the object” with the assistance of the Alaska Air National Guard, “tracking it closely and taking time to characterize the nature of the object.”

“Monitoring continued today as the object crossed into Canadian airspace, with Canadian CF-18 and CP-140 aircraft joining the formation to further assess the object. “Using an AIM 9X missile, a US F-22 shot down the object in Canadian territory,” his statement continued.

“As Canadian authorities conduct recovery operations to assist our countries in learning more about the object,” Ryder said in a statement Saturday.

Anand stated on Twitter on Saturday that she discussed the incident with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and “reaffirmed that we’ll always defend our sovereignty together.”

“The object was flying at an altitude of approximately 40,000 feet, had unlawfully entered Canadian airspace and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight. “The object was shot down over Canadian territory in central Yukon, approximately 100 miles from the Canada-United States border,” Anand said at a news conference on Saturday evening.

According to a news release from the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the agency was monitoring “a high altitude airborne object” over northern Canada earlier Saturday, and military aircraft were operating in the area from Alaska and Canada.

According to an FAA spokesperson, airspace over Montana was also closed on Saturday evening “to support Defense Department activities,” but it was quickly reopened.

NORAD later said in a statement that they “detected a radar anomaly and sent fighter aircraft to investigate,” but the planes “did not identify any object to correlate to the radar hits.”

The US military shot down a “high-altitude object” over Alaska on Friday after officials determined it posed a “reasonable threat to civilian air traffic” at 40,000 feet. The object was brought down by fighter planes from the US Northern Command, and Biden called the operation a “success.” Recovery teams are currently attempting to recover debris that has accumulated on top of ice in US territorial waters.

While officials have given no indication that the object shot down over Alaska is connected to the Chinese spy balloon, details are limited.

A week earlier, US military fighter jets shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean, capping off a remarkable public drama that prompted a diplomatic spat between Washington and Beijing as the balloon was tracked from Montana to the Carolinas.

This week, the Biden administration has been bombarded with questions about the timing of the president’s decision to shoot the spy balloon.

A Department of Defense official told lawmakers last week that the balloon was spotted after entering the US Air Defense Identification Zone over Alaska on January 28 before flying over Canada. Three days later, it returned to continental US airspace.

Officials stated that the risk of gathering intelligence against the US was low, but the risk to people and property on the ground if the balloon were shot down over the US was high due to the balloon’s size and weight.

Instead, it was shot down over water after flying over the United States’ East Coast.

The second object was discovered on Thursday, according to officials, and F-35 fighter jets were dispatched to investigate further. The object was flying at 40,000 feet, posing a “reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight,” according to John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications.

According to Kirby, Biden was first briefed on this object on Thursday evening.

The US Northern Command said in a statement Saturday that search and recovery operations for the object shot down over Alaska were still ongoing.

“Recovery activities are taking place on sea ice,” according to the statement. “At this time, we have no further information about the object, including its capabilities, purpose, or origin.”