The US shoot down a “height object” over Alaska

The US military shot down a “height object” over Alaska on Friday, White House spokesman John Kirby said, about a week after it shot down a Chinese spy balloon.

The object had been shot down in the past hour, he said, and had entered US airspace in the past 24 hours. The US military will release more information later on Friday.

“The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight. Out of caution and at the Pentagon’s recommendation, President Joe Biden ordered the military to bring down the object, and they did,” Kirby said.

“We don’t know who owns it,” he said, adding that the US doesn’t know if it was state-owned or what purpose it served.

“It was much, much smaller than the spy balloon that we shot down last Saturday,” Kirby said, referring to the Chinese balloon that was shot down just off the Atlantic coast on February 4 after spending several days in US airspace .

The newest object is “about the size of a small car,” he added, and unlike the balloon shot down last weekend, it has no “significant payload.”

The United States assumes that it will be able to recover the debris that fell into territorial waters.

Biden’s primary motive for ordering the object down was a possible threat to civilian flights. The spy balloon shot down last week was flying at an altitude of 65,000 feet, which didn’t pose an equal threat to air travel, Kirby said.

“This one at 40,000 feet could have posed a threat to civilian aircraft,” he said. The United States first learned of the object on Thursday evening, Kirby added.

“I’m not classifying it as a balloon at the moment. It’s an object. We’re still trying to learn more.”

This is an evolving story The US shoot down a “height object” over Alaska

Adam Bradshaw

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