US jet shoots down ‘unidentified object’ over northern Canada, Trudeau says
(CNN) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday that an “unidentified object” had been shot down over Canadian airspace on his orders.
“I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace. @NORADCommand shot down the object over the Yukon. Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object,” Trudeau said on Twitter.
Trudeau said that he spoke with US President Joe Biden on Saturday and that Canadian forces will lead the object recovery operation.
Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand tweeted Saturday that she had discussed the incident with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “and reaffirmed that we’ll always defend our sovereignty together.”
CNN has reached out to the White House for comment.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command said earlier Saturday it was monitoring “a high altitude airborne object” over northern Canada, and military aircraft were operating in the area from Alaska and Canada, according to a news release from the agency.
It is not clear what the object is or whether it is related to the suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down last week or another object shot down over Alaska on Friday.
Global News reported on NORAD’s detection of the object earlier Saturday.
On Friday, the US military shot down a “high-altitude object” over Alaska after US officials determined that it posed a “reasonable threat to civilian air traffic” as it was flying at 40,000 feet. The object was brought down by fighter aircraft assigned to US Northern Command, and Biden referred to the operation as a “success.” Recovery teams are now attempting to retrieve the debris that is sitting on top of ice in US territorial waters.
While officials have given no indication so far that the object shot down over Alaska is at all related to the Chinese spy balloon, details have been scarce.
A week earlier, US military fighter jets shot down the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean, ending a remarkable public drama that prompted a diplomatic fallout between Washington and Beijing as the American public tracked the balloon from Montana all the way to the Carolinas.
The Biden administration has been subjected to a slew of questions this week about the timing of the president’s decision to shoot the spy balloon.