US Air Force downs ‘high-altitude object' near Alaska — White House

US Materials 11 February 2023 02:27 (UTC +04:00)

US armed forces downed an flying object near Alaska under President Joe Biden’s order, White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby told reporters Friday, Trend reports citing TASS.

According to Kirby, the balloon travelled at an altitude of 12,200 meters, and its fragments fell on ice-covered sea.

"The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight," Kirby told reporters. "Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of the Pentagon, President Biden ordered the military to down the object and they did and it came inside our territorial waters and those waters right now are frozen."

A US Air Force jet fighter scrambled to down the balloon over US territorial waters, Kirby said.

He added that the US plans to retrieve the fragments of the aircraft, which was much smaller than the Chinese balloon downed earlier. The official noted that the aircraft did not appear able to maneuver and was most likely unmanned. The US currently does not know which country the aircraft belonged to yet, he noted.