US fighter jet downs ‘object’ over Alaska, days after China spy balloon incident

The White House said the object was the size of a “small car.”

John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, at the White House, Jan. 25, 2023. (File Photo: Reuters)

A US fighter jet shot down an unidentified object over Alaska on Friday, the White House said, just days after a Chinese spy balloon flew across the continental United States.

“We do not know who owns it,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said. “We don’t know if it’s state-owned,” he added.

More details are expected to be released during a Pentagon news briefing later in the day, but Kirby said the object was the size of a “small car.”

Kirby revealed that the object had posed a “reasonable threat” to civil aviation. It was flying at about 40,000 feet, and the US noticed it on Thursday night. The Pentagon dispatched fighter jets to look into the object on Thursday night before US President Joe Biden ordered it to be shot down on Friday.

The US military shot it down near northeast Alaska, near the Canadian border.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said an F-22 fighter jet was used to shoot down the high-altitude airborne object, the origins of which the US is still working to determine.

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