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International News: Third ‘foreign object’ shot down in North America in a week

Posted: Sunday, February 12, 2023. 10:00 am CST.

Photo Credit: Reuters/BBC

By Aaron Humes: The BBC reports that a third ‘foreign object,’ this one unidentified, has been shot down in North American airspace in a week.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the object “violated Canadian airspace” and was shot down by an American F-22 fighter jet over the Yukon, northwestern Canada, following a shootdown of an object the size of a small car off Alaska on Friday and a Chinese balloon last weekend.

Trudeau said he ordered the shootdown after speaking with American counterpart Joe Biden, and tweeted that Canadian armed forces would recover and analyze the wreckage, which was intercepted on Saturday afternoon over the central Yukon at about 40 thousand feet, about 100 miles from the U.S.-Canada border per defence minister Anita Anand.

While “small” and “cylindrical” in proportion and appearing to be smaller than the one shot down off the coast of South Carolina which measured 200 feet in height, it still posed a “reasonable threat to civil aviation,” the minister added.

Posting earlier on Twitter, Prime Minister Trudeau thanked the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) which carries out air defence for the U.S. and Canada and led the mission. The countries’ military and police agencies will be working closely on the case.

In a short statement, the military said U.S. troops, including from the Alaska National Guard, were still conducting search and recovery activities on sea ice for Friday’s object.

It said it had no further details about the object’s capabilities, purpose or origin but confirmed the FBI is helping with the recovery near the Alaskan town of Deadhorse.

“Arctic weather conditions, including wind chill, snow, and limited daylight, are a factor in this operation, and personnel will adjust recovery operations to maintain safety,” it added – and that the rescue operation will continue as weather permits.

Last weekend, defence officials told U.S. media that debris from the Chinese balloon landed in 47 feet of water – shallower than they had expected – near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

China has denied the balloon – which first entered U.S. airspace on 28 January – was used for spying purposes, saying it was a weather device gone astray.

The U.S., however, said the balloon is part of a fleet of surveillance balloons that have flown over five continents.

 

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