Six Days After U.S. F-22 Shoots Down Balloon, A Second Object Has Been Downed.
National Security Council official John Kirby confirmed on Friday that the U.S. has downed another “high altitude object” over Alaska that the Department of Defense has been tracking “over the last 24 hours”.
Kirby told media in a statement released Friday afternoon that, “The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight”. Kirby went on to say that fighter aircraft assigned to the U.S Northern Command had shot down the aircraft within an hour of his 1430 Eastern Time Zone statement.
The Pentagon shot down a “high altitude object” that was flying 40,000 feet above Alaska, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby confirms. pic.twitter.com/MM58WjW5SN
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 10, 2023
Officials have not specified if the object was a similar high altitude balloon to the one that was shot down by a USAF F-22 Raptor over the Atlantic coast on Saturday, February 3, 2023.
The U.S. has accused the Chinese of using high altitude balloons for unauthorized surveillance that may include signals intelligence gathering and/or reconnaissance above sensitive U.S. military installations, including nuclear weapons facilities. The Chinese have stated that the balloon shot down on Feb. 3, off the U.S. East Coast was conducting meteorological research.