US jet shoots down object over northern Canada, says Trudeau

US jet shoots down object over northern Canada, says Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday that on his order a US warplane shot down an unidentified object that was flying high over northern Canada, acting a day after US planes took similar action over Alaska.

Shortly before Mr Trudeau’s tweet, the North American Aerospace Defence Command said it had detected an object flying at high altitude over Canada.

The object was the third known to have violated North American airspace in the past two weeks.

In a second tweet, Mr Trudeau said: “I spoke with President Biden this afternoon. Canadian Forces will now recover and analyse the wreckage of the object. Thank you to Norad for keeping the watch over North America.”

A spokesman, Maj. Olivier Gallant, said both Canadian and US jets operating as part of Norad had been deployed. The jets were scrambled and it was a US jet that shot it down.

F-22 fighter jets have now downed three objects in the airspace above the US and Canada over seven days, a stunning development in the skies that is raising questions on just what, exactly, is hovering overhead and who has sent them.

At least one of the objects downed was believed to be a spy balloon from China, but the other two have not yet been identified. Mr Trudeau said that Canadian forces would recover the wreckage for study.

The downing came a day after White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said an object roughly the size of a small car was shot down in remote Alaska.

Officials couldn’t say if it contained any surveillance equipment, where it came from or what purpose it had.

Mr Kirby said it was shot down because it was flying at about 40,000 feet (13,000 meters) and posed a “reasonable threat” to the safety of civilian flights, not because of any knowledge that it was engaged in surveillance.

According to US Northern Command, recovery operations continued Saturday on sea ice near Deadhorse, Alaska.

In a statement, the Northern Command said there were no new details on what the object was. It said the Alaska Command and the Alaska National Guard, along with the FBI and local law enforcement, were conducting search and recovery.

“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,” the statement said.

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