High-altitude object shot down over Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to media in the House of Commons foyer on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada February 1, 2023. REUTERS/Blair Gable

Blair Gable | Reuters

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday that on his order a U.S. warplane shot down an object that was flying high over northern Canada, acting a day after U.S. planes took a similar action over Alaska.

In a statement on Twitter, Trudeau said the object was shot down by an American fighter jet on his orders.

“@NORADCommand shot down the object over the Yukon,” Trudeau tweeted. Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully shot down the object, he added. 

Shortly before Trueau’s tweet, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said it had detected an object flying at high altitude over Canada. NORAD gave no further information, including when the object was first spotted or what it is.

A spokesman, Maj. Olivier Gallant, said both Canadian and U.S. warplanes operating as part of NORAD had been deployed.

In a second tweet, Trudeau said: “I spoke with President Biden this afternoon. Canadian Forces will now recover and analyze the wreckage of the object. Thank you to NORAD for keeping the watch over North America.”

The North American Aerospace Defence Command first confirmed the object’s presence over Northern Canada this afternoon.

While NORAD says it was able to identify the object, officials have refused to reveal what it was.

The object was the third known to have violated North American airspace in the past two weeks.

A suspected Chinese spy balloon spent nearly a week flying through Canada and the U.S. before it was shot down last Sunday.

The U.S. military shot down a second object in Alaskan airspace Friday, though authorities have not provided details on what it was.

According to U.S. Northern Command, recovery operations continued Saturday both near Deadhorse, Alaska, and off South Carolina.

In a statement, the Northern Command said there were no new details on what the object was that a U.S. fighter jet shot down over Alaska. It said the Alaska Command and the Alaska National Guard, along with the FBI and local law enforcement, were conducting search and recovery.

“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,” the statement said. “Recovery activities are occurring on sea ice.”

It added that the Navy continued to survey and recovery activities on the ocean floor off South Carolina, and the Coast Guard was providing security. Additional debris was pulled out Friday, and additional operations will continue as weather permits, the statement said.

CNBC contributed to this report.

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