Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he had ordered the take down of an "unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace."
Acting on the orders of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a US fighter jet shot down an "unidentified object" flying over northern Canada on Saturday.
"I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace," Trudeau said, adding that both Canadian and US aircraft were scrambled, and a US F-22 successfully took down the object.
Trudeau said the object was shot down over the Yukon, a Canadian territory, adding that Canadian forces will recover and analyze the object's wreckage. He also said he spoke with President Joe Biden on Saturday afternoon.
Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand described the object as
cylindrical in shape, and smaller than the Chinese spy balloon shot down
last week, according to Reuters.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, operated by both the US and Canada, had confirmed earlier on Saturday that a "high-altitude airborne object" had been detected in Canadian airspace.
In a statement Saturday evening, the White House described the object as an "unidentified, unmanned object" that NORAD had been closely tracking and monitoring over the previous 24 hours.
The statement said Biden and Trudeau "discussed the importance of recovering the object in order to determine more details on its purpose or origin."
Saturday afternoon's incident was the third time within the span of just a week that a US jet took down objects flying at high altitudes over the US or Canada. On Friday, the US shot down another unidentified object flying roughly 40,000 feet over Alaska, and one week ago, the US took down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina.
NORAD said in a statement earlier Saturday afternoon that recovery operations are still underway for both the Alaska object and the Chinese surveillance balloon.
US officials have said the Chinese balloon was part of an operation to gather intelligence on global militaries, and was studying "strategic bases" in the US.
The Chinese government criticized the US for downing its balloon last week, saying its balloon was "of civilian nature and used for flight test."
beat Canada to the scene