A U.S. fighter jet shot down a mysterious high-altitude object over northwestern Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, one day after America shot down another object in the skies north of Alaska.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, a joint U.S.-Canada force, said Saturday that it had been tracking the latest unwelcome interloper. The object was drifting over the frosty Yukon Territory when the fighter aircraft shot it down, Trudeau said.
“I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace,” the Canadian leader wrote on Twitter. “Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object.”
In this photo provided by Chad Fish, a large balloon drifts above the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of South Carolina, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. The balloon was struck by a missile from an F-22 fighter just off Myrtle Beach, fascinating sky-watchers across a populous area known as the Grand Strand for its miles of beaches that draw retirees and vacationers. (Chad Fish via AP) (Chad Fish/AP)
Trudeau said that he and President Biden spoke before the takedown, and that Canadian forces would take the lead in the recovery operation.
Anita Anand, Canada’s defense minister, said on Twitter that she had spoken with Lloyd Austin, the American secretary of defense, and “reaffirmed that we’ll always defend our sovereignty together.”
Canada’s Global News network previously reported on Saturday that officials had detected the object.
The latest takedown came after the U.S. military shot down an object the size of a small car over frozen waters north of Alaska on Friday and one week after American fighter jets shot down a hulking Chinese spy balloon about 10 miles off the coast of South Carolina.
FILE – In this Monday April 30, 2012 file photo, an Air Force F-22 Raptor takes off during a demonstration at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va. (Steve Helber/ASSOCIATED PRESS)
U.S. military officials said China had been operating a worldwide spy balloon program for years, with at least five balloons attempting to surveil the U.S. since 2017.
The balloon that was downed last weekend first entered U.S. airspace over Alaska in late January. It crossed parts of Canada before reentering U.S. territory over Montana.
With Tim Balk
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