Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday that a US fighter jet shot down an “unidentified object” flying over the Yukon on his orders, a day after the US took similar action over Alaska. .
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, a joint U.S.-Canadian organization that shares and defends the two nations’ airspace, detected an object flying at high altitude over Alaska on Friday night, U.S. officials said. rice field. It invaded Canadian airspace on Saturday.
Trudeau spoke with President Joe Biden, who also ordered the shooting down of the object. Canadian and US jets operating as part of NORAD were scrambled and it was a US jet that shot down the object.
Canada’s Defense Minister Anita Anand said at a press conference in Ottawa that the object, which was flying about 40,000 feet, was shot down at 3:41 pm ET. Restoration work involving the Canadian Forces and his RCMP was underway.
Hours later, in the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Saturday night that it had closed some airspace in Montana to support Pentagon operations. NORAD later said the shutdown, which lasted just over an hour, took place after detecting a “radar anomaly” and sending fighter jets to investigate. NORAD said the aircraft was unable to identify the object associated with the radar collision.
F-22 fighters have now destroyed three objects over seven days in US and Canadian airspace. This is an amazing development that raises questions about exactly what is hovering overhead and who sent them.
At least one of the downed objects was believed to be a reconnaissance balloon from China, while the other two have yet to be publicly identified.
Prime Minister Trudeau described the object as “unidentified” on Saturday, but Anand said it appeared to be “a small cylindrical object, smaller than the one that crashed off the coast of North Carolina.” NORAD spokesman Major Olivier Galant said the military had identified what it was, but would not provide further details.
Anand declined to speculate whether the object shot down over Canada came from China.
“We are continuing to analyze the object and we will make sure the analysis is complete,” she said.
Anand said, to her knowledge, this was the first time NORAD shot down an object in Canadian airspace.
“The importance of this moment should not be underestimated,” she said. “Together we detected this object and together we defeated this object.”
She was asked why a US jet, and not a Canadian plane, shot down the object.
“I think what is the point, rather than breaking it down by country, these are the functions of NORAD, this is NORAD’s mission, this is what NORAD is supposed to do,” she said. Told.
Anand did not use the word “balloon” to describe this object. But then Defense Chief of Staff General Wayne Eyre said the instructions given to the plane were “whoever had the first and best shot to take out the balloon got the go-ahead.”
Prime Minister Trudeau said the Canadian military would retrieve the wreckage for investigation. The Yukon Territory is Canada’s westernmost territory and he is one of Canada’s least populated regions.
After the airspace over Montana was closed, several members of Congress, including Montana Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester, said they were in contact with defense officials. Danes tweeted, “We continue to demand answers regarding these incursions into US airspace.”
John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said about a day ago an object the size of a small car was shot down from far above Alaska. Authorities were unable to say if it contained surveillance equipment, where it came from or what it was used for.
Kirby, who was flying at about 40,000 feet (13,000 meters) and was shot down for posing a “reasonable threat” to the safety of civilian flight, was unaware that he was engaged in surveillance.
Restoration work continued on the sea ice near Deadhorse, Alaska, Saturday, according to the U.S. Northern Command.
In a statement, Northern Command said it had no new details about what the object was.Alaska Command and the Alaska National Guard, along with the FBI and local law enforcement, are conducting a search and recovery.
“Arctic weather conditions such as wind chill, snow and limited sunlight are factors in this operation, and personnel will coordinate recovery efforts to maintain safety,” the statement said.
On February 4th, US officials shot down a large white balloon off the coast of South Carolina.
The Pentagon said the balloon was part of a large surveillance program that China has been conducting for “several years.” The US says Chinese balloons have flown to dozens of countries on five continents in recent years and learned more about its balloon program after closely monitoring his one shot down near South Carolina. is.
China said it reserves the right to “take further action” and accused the United States of “clear overreaction and a grave violation of international practice”.
The Navy continued its search and recovery operations on the seafloor off the coast of South Carolina, with the Coast Guard providing patrol. Additional debris will be pulled out on Friday and additional operations will continue weather permitting, Northern Command said.