On orders from President Joe Biden, a U.S. military fighter plane destroyed an unidentified aircraft off the northern shore of Alaska on Friday, according to White House officials.
According to John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, the aircraft was shot down not just because it was being used for spying but because it was floating at a height of around 13,000 metres and constituted a “legitimate threat” to the protection of civilian planes. When asked about the taking down of the object, Mr. Biden just responded, “It was a victory.”
The twin killings coming so quickly after one another are exceptional and show the public’s strain on President Biden to take a firm stance regarding China’s spying programme and the growing level of concern about it. The White House made distinctions between the two incidents, but there were still few details on the mysterious item that was shot down on Friday. The latest object’s origin, intended use, and presence of any surveillance technology were all unknown to officials.
The Pentagon on Friday refused to give a more detailed description of the object, stating only that the American aircraft that flew up to see it decided it didn’t seem to be manned. According to officials, the object, which appeared to be immobile and was moving at a far lower height than the last balloon, was considerably smaller.
In a region with challenging weather and roughly 6 and a half hours of sunlight at this period of the year, the unidentified object was shot out of the sky. Friday’s daytime highs were at minus 17 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 27 degrees Celsius).
The news comes exactly a week after the United States shot down a purported Chinese spy balloon off the coast of North Carolina after it travelled over important military installations on the continent. China said there had been an industrial accident involving a civilian aircraft during the flyby and warned of consequences.
According to the Pentagon, the balloon was a component of a sizable spying programme that China has been carrying out for “a number of years.” The United States claims that Chinese aircraft have recently flown over numerous nations on five continents, and it discovered further information about the balloon operation after closely watching the balloon that was shot down in Carolina.
The United States was chastised for its “clear reaction” and “severe breach of international practise,” to which China retaliated that it maintained the right to “take future actions.”