Unidentified objects flew over Canada on Saturday. This was the second such incident in as many days, one week after the Pentagon downed a Chinese spy ball off the US coast.
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime Minister, said Saturday afternoon that he had ordered the shooting of an “unidentified object that violated Canadian Airspace” and that it was over the Yukon.
The unmanned object was shot down by an American F-22 fighter plane as part of an operation by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a joint US-Canadian command that defends the continent.
Earlier today, the US shot down an unidentified object over Alaska that was flying at ~40,000 feet (well within the range of commercial flights).
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) February 10, 2023
“I spoke to President Biden today. The object’s wreckage will be recovered and analysed by Canadian Forces. Trudeau thanked Norad for maintaining watch over North America and shared his gratitude via Twitter.
Two F-22s were said to have been watching the object over US airspace on Friday night. The US defense department stated that fighters were still watching the object along with Canadian aircraft as it flew between Alaska and Canada.
According to Pentagon, the F-22 shot the object using an AIM 9X missile. This weapon was also used to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon last Wednesday.
The US military downed a “high altitude object” off Alaska’s coast on Friday. It was about the same size as a car.
Washington and Ottawa are on alert after the incursion of a large Chinese spy ball into US and Canadian airspaces over the past week.
Last Saturday, a US F-22 shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon. China claims it was a civilian craft that conducted meteorological research.
Friday’s Biden administration placed six Chinese organizations with alleged links to Beijing’s spy ball program on the “entity” list, which effectively prohibits American companies from supplying them with US technology.
Norad and US Northern Command stated that the US military was carrying out recovery operations near Deadhorse in Alaska with the FBI, local police, and other agencies to salvage the remains from the object that was shot down Friday. They stated that the Arctic weather conditions were hampering the rescue and search operations.
The salvage operation of the downed Chinese balloon is being continued by Northern Command off the coast of South Carolina. According to the FBI, the debris was confiscated by Navy divers and unmanned underwater vehicles.
The drama surrounding the spy balloon has derailed efforts to stabilize US-China relations, which have fallen to their lowest point since 1979 when the two countries normalised diplomatic relations.
In response to Beijing’s refusal of admitting that the balloon invasion was a spy vessel, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cancelled his visit to China.
The Pentagon revealed that China had flown three balloons above US territory during the Trump administration, and one through US airspace in the Biden administration.
Anita Anand (Canada’s defense minister) said that the object was downed over central Yukon at around 40,000ft. It was similar in appearance to the object shot over South Carolina’s coast but smaller and more cylindrical. Anand wouldn’t speculate about its origins.
Anand stated that the mission involved fighter jets from the United States that took off in Alaska and Canadian fighter planes that took off in Alberta.
Heino Klinck is a former top Pentagon official and expert in the People’s Liberation Army. He said that if there were any connections with China, it would indicate that the Chinese military was altering its operations.
Klinck stated, “If this is China’s only act, it’s a clear manifestation of how their counter-normative behaviour has expanded, both geographically and operationally.”
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