Biden orders military to ‘take down’ a ‘high-altitude object’ in US waters
The White House announced on Friday that President Joe Biden ordered the military to shoot down what they described as a “high-altitude object” hovering over Alaska earlier in the day.
“The Department of Defense has been monitoring a high-altitude object in Alaskan airspace for the past 24 hours,” National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby told reporters when asked about the rumour. about another Chinese surveillance balloon.
Kirby said the high-altitude object was flying at 40,000 feet and “posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight.”
He continued, “Out of an abundance of caution and on the recommendation of the Pentagon, President Biden ordered the military to take down the object, and they did. And it came inside our territorial waters – and those seas are now frozen – but inside territorial airspace and over territorial waters. Fighter assigned to U.S. Northern Command brought down the object within the last hour.”
This is the second time in less than a week that US warplanes have shot down a flying object in US airspace. The Biden administration has faced questions about its handling of a suspected Chinese spy balloon that floated across the country last week before being shot down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Carolinas last week. Saturday/
While the president has been consistent with how he and his administration handled that balloon, he has faced criticism from Republicans for allowing the balloon suspected of being a spy to fly. hovered over much of the country before shooting it down.
Kirby added that the new object was brought down by a US Northern Command fighter jet “near the Canadian border” over the frozen waters of the Arctic Ocean.
Kirby said of the site: “The area would generally be right near the very, very northeastern part of Alaska, close to the Canadian border.
Subject was first noticed by the US government last night. Kirby told reporters that the US assessed the “object” as unmanned before it was shot down.
“We were able to get a number of fighter jets flying around it before giving the order to shoot it down, and the pilots’ assessment was that the plane was unmanned,” Kirby said.
Kirby also provides some nomenclature guidelines for the object, which the United States does not call a hot air balloon and has not yet assigned to China or any other entity.
“We call this an object because that’s the best description we have right now. We don’t know who owns it – whether it’s public or corporate or private, we just don’t know,” Kirby said.
He added: “We do not have any information that would confirm the stated purpose of this subject. We hope to be able to recover debris as it not only landed in our territorial space, but also landed in what we believe to be frozen water. So a recovery attempt will be made and we hope that it will be successful and then we can learn a little more about it.”
Kirby said the object was “a lot smaller” than the suspected Chinese spy balloon, comparing it to “the size of a small car”. The balloon that crashed last Saturday was described by US officials as the size of three buses.
Kirby was “fully involved in this decision” and ordered it to be implemented on the recommendation of Pentagon leaders, Kirby said.
This story is broken and will be updated.