White House Releases Statement Following U.S. Air Force Shooting Down Object Over Canada
U.S. President Joe Biden listens while meeting virtually with Xi Jinping, China's president, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. With trade, Taiwan and China's economic practices on the agenda, the U.S. is hoping to put "guardrails" on the relationship so things don't worsen.
Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House released a statement Saturday night giving details about a call that President Joe Biden had with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following a military operation that Canada allowed the U.S. military to conduct in its airspace.

NORAD tracked an unidentified object over Canada that was deemed to be a potential threat and a U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor was scrambled to shoot it down.

“The object was closely tracked and monitored by North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) over the last 24 hours and the President has been continually briefed by his national security team since the object was detected,” the White House’s readout of the call said. “Out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of their militaries, President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau authorized it to be taken down.”

“President Biden authorized US fighter aircraft assigned to NORAD to conduct the operation and a US F-22 shot down the object in Canadian territory in close coordination with Canadian authorities,” the statement continued. “The leaders discussed the importance of recovering the object in order to determine more details on its purpose or origin.”

The incident over Canada comes after the U.S. military shot down an unidentified object over Alaskan air space on Friday afternoon. The object, the size of a small car, was flying at 40,000 feet with a “cylindrical shape” over U.S. territorial water when it was shot down.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the U.S. Northern Command released a statement over the incident on Saturday evening.

“Recovery operations continue today near Deadhorse, Alaska. U.S. Northern Command’s Alaska Command and the Alaska National Guard, in close coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement, are conducting search and recovery activities,” the statement said. “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.”

U.S. officials said that the recovery operations were happening on sea ice and there was not any additional information at this time about the object, including its capabilities, purpose, or origin.

The statement said that U.S. Northern Command was continuing to conduct recovery operations off the coast of South Carolina after the U.S. military used an F-22 Raptor last week to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean using a single air-to-air AIM-9X Sidewinder missile that was fired at an altitude of approximately 58,000 feet. The decision to shoot down the spy balloon came after President Joe Biden allowed it to fly thousands of miles over the continental U.S. last week.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to assist recovery on site and take custody of debris arriving at on-shore locations,” the statement concluded. “Sea states Feb. 10 permitted dive and underwater unmanned vehicle (UUV) activities and the retrieval of additional debris from the sea floor. The public may see U.S. Navy vessels moving to and from the site as they conduct offload and resupply activities. Operations will continue as weather permits.”

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