Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday that an “unidentified object” had been shot down by a US fighter jet over Canadian airspace on his orders.
In a tweet, the Canadian PM said, “I ordered the takedown of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace.” @NORADCommand shot down the object over the Yukon. Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object.
The Canadian defence minister, Anita Anand, said that “the object was cylindrical and smaller than the suspected Chinese balloon shot down last weekend.” Later on Saturday, the White House confirmed that Trudeau and US President Joe Biden authorised the shoot-down, and the Pentagon said the object was first spotted over Alaska on Friday evening. Trudeau said that he spoke with Biden on Saturday and that Canadian forces will lead the object recovery operation. The object shot down Saturday marks the third time in one week that US aircraft have shot down an object in North American airspace. Saturday’s incident follows the downing of another unidentified object on Friday over Alaska and the shoot-down of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon on February 4 by a US F-22 fighter jet. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said earlier that it was monitoring “a high altitude airborne object” over northern Canada and that military aircraft were operating in the area from Alaska and Canada, according to a news release from the agency. I spoke with President Biden this afternoon. The Canadian Forces will now recover and analyse the wreckage of the object. “Thank you to NORAD for keeping watch over North America,” tweeted Trudeau.