White House officials say the object was flying at an altitude of about 40,000 feet and posed a “reasonable threat” to the safety of civilian flights.

WASHINGTON – A US military fighter jet shot down an unidentified object flying off the coast of Alaska on Friday at the behest of President Joe Biden, White House officials said.

The object was flying at an altitude of about 40,000 feet and posed a “reasonable threat” to the safety of civilian aviation, said John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council. He described the object as about the size of a small car and said it came down near the US-Canada border.

It was the second time in a week that US officials shot down a flying object over the US Fighter jets shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon on Saturday off the coast of South Carolina.

There were few answers about the facility, and the White House drew distinctions between the two episodes. Kirby said it is not yet known who it belonged to, and he did not say it was a balloon. Officials also could not say if he was wearing any surveillance equipment. Kirby still didn’t know where it came from or what its purpose was.

However, it caused enough concern that US officials preferred to shoot it out of the sky.

“We will remain vigilant about our airspace,” Kirby said. – The President considers his obligations to protect our national security interests to be paramount.”

Kirby said that the fighter pilots visually inspected the object and confirmed that it was not manned. The president was informed of the facility’s presence Thursday evening after two fighter jets inspected it.

The object fell into the cold water, and officials expected to be able to recover the debris more quickly than from the huge balloon last week.

This comes nearly a week after the US shot down the suspect Chinese spy balloon off the Carolinas coast after it traversed important military installations throughout North America. China insisted that the flight was an accident involving a civilian vessel and threatened consequences.

Biden gave the order, but wanted the balloon shot down even earlier. He was advised that the best time to operate would be over water. Military officials determined that dropping it above the ground from an altitude of 60,000 feet posed an unreasonable danger to people on the ground.

The the balloon was part of a large surveillance program The Pentagon said China has been spending “several years”.

China responded that it reserved the right to “take further measures” and criticized the US for “an obvious overreaction and serious violation of international practice.”


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