BREAKING: US military shoots down 'high altitude object' over Alaskan waters

"The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight."

Joshua Young North Carolina

On Friday, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said in a press conference that the United States military downed "a high altitude object" that had traveled into US airspace over Alaska.

"So I can confirm that the Department of Defense was tracking a high altitude object over Alaska airspace in the last 24 hours," Kirby said. "The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight. Out of an abundance of caution at the recommendation of the Pentagon, President Biden ordered the military to down the object and they."

Kirby confirmed "it came in inside our territorial waters."

"Those waters right now are frozen," he continued and said the balloon entered "inside territorial airspace and over territorial waters" and "fighter aircraft assigned to us Northern Command took down the object within the last hour."

Kirby said the object was "much smaller" than the Chinese spy balloon and roughly the "size of a small car."

On Sunday, a Chinese surveillance balloon that traversed a large portion of the continental United States was downed by an F-22 fighter jet in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Chinese officials originally said the balloon was a civilian weather vessel that accidentally entered US airspace after it had drifted from its charted course.

After the US shot down the balloon, China’s Foreign Ministry said, "The Chinese side has clearly asked the US side to properly handle the matter in a calm, professional and restrained manner. Under such circumstances, the US use of force is a clear overreaction and a serious violation of international practice."

The balloon, which was roughly the size of three school buses and flying approximately 60,000 feet in the air, had entered US airspace on January 28 and was known to the Biden administration for nearly a week before its report in the news on Thursday, February 2.

Fox News reports, the object was shot down by an F-22 and Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the military had located the debris.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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