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Unidentified Object Shot Down Over Canada By US Jet

On orders from President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a U.S. fighter jet shot down another unidentified flying object on Saturday, Canadian and U.S. officials said. 


On Saturday, the North American Aerospace Defense Command reported monitoring "a high altitude airborne object" over northern Canada. Soon after, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed that he had ordered the object to be shot down.


In a statement posted on Twitter, Mr. Trudeau said, “I ordered the takedown of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace." He said that the object was shot down over the Yukon Territory by an American F-22 with the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which is run by both the US and Canada.


Trudeau said that he talked to President Joe Biden on Saturday and that Canadian forces will be in charge of the object recovery operation.


This marks the instance time in a week that US fighter jets have shot down objects in North American airspace. On Friday, an F-22 took down an unidentified object in Alaskan airspace. The previous weekend, F-22s shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina.


During an interview on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that Jake Sullivan, the White House's national security adviser, briefed him on the most recent object shot down over Canada. According to Schumer, that intelligence officials think that this object, as well as the unknown object shot down over Alaska on Friday and the craft downed over South Carolina waters last week, were all balloons.


However, as with the object that President Biden ordered to be shot down near Alaska on Friday, officials said they have yet to officially determine the nature of the object shot out of the sky over the Yukon. This object's relationship to the Chinese spy balloon and the object shot down over Alaska also remains uncertain.


In a statement released Saturday, the White House said that Mr. Biden and Mr. Trudeau had  “discussed the importance of recovering the object in order to determine more details on its purpose or origin.” 


General Ryder said that on Saturday, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin spoke by phone with his Canadian counterpart, Anita Anand. At a news conference that night, Ms. Anand said the object was cylindrical and described it as smaller than the spy balloon that had been shot down over the Atlantic the weekend before.


It is believed to be uncommon for the United States to shoot down unidentified flying objects. But since the Chinese spy balloon was found in American skies about two weeks ago, tensions in the U.S. have been high, causing Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken to cancel a trip to China. 


China alleges that the U.S. overreacted to the event and that the balloon was used for "research, mainly meteorological, purposes," and had blown off course.


Cover photo: Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor



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