US F-22 shoots down unidentified 'cylindrical' object detected over Canada

A temporary flight restriction was put in place over Montana Saturday after a 'radar anomaly' was detected but it has been lifted

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Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Military shoots down unidentified object in the skies in Canada
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that he ordered the take down of another unidentified object "that violated Canadian airspace."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered the "take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace" Saturday, according to a tweet.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said Saturday it was monitoring "a high altitude airborne object" over northern Canada, and that military aircraft were operating in the area from Alaska and Canada, according to a news release from the agency.

The object was shot down over the Yukon by another U.S. Air Force F-22 fighter jet.

"Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object," Trudeau added.

RELATED: US officials disclosed new details about the Chinese spy balloon's capabilities: What we know

Trudeau also said he has spoken with President Biden and that Canadian Forces will recover and analyze the wreckage of the object.

"Thank you to NORAD for keeping the watch over North America," Trudeau said.

"We have no further details about the object at this time other than it appears to be a small cylindrical object and smaller than the one that was downed off the coast of North Carolina," Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said Saturday evening.

WATCH | Canadian Defense Minister speaks about downing of object in Canadian territory

A temporary flight restriction was put in place Saturday night over Montana but it has been lifted, according North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The temporary restriction was issued after NORAD detected a "radar anomaly." Aircraft were sent to investigate the incident but didn't see anything.

"With the cooperation of the Federal Aviation Administration, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) implemented a temporary flight restriction airspace in central Montana on Feb. 11, 2023, to ensure the safety of air traffic in the area during NORAD operations. The restriction has been lifted," NORAD said in a statement. "NORAD detected a radar anomaly and sent fighter aircraft to investigate. Those aircraft did not identify any object to correlate to the radar hits. NORAD will continue to monitor the situation."

"I'm in direct contact with the Pentagon regarding the object in Montana's airspace & will receive frequent updates," Senator Steve Danies said in a tweet Saturday. "Montanans still have questions about the Chinese spy balloon that flew over our state last week. I'll continue to demand answers on these invasions of US airspace."

On Friday, the US military shot down a "high-altitude object" over Alaska after US officials determined that it posed a "reasonable threat to civilian air traffic" as it was flying at 40,000 feet. The object was brought down by fighter aircraft assigned to US Northern Command, and Biden referred to the operation as a "success." Recovery teams are now attempting to retrieve the debris that is sitting on top of ice in US territorial waters.

While officials have given no indication so far that the object shot down over Alaska is at all related to the Chinese spy balloon, details have been scarce.

A week earlier, US military fighter jets shot down the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean, ending a remarkable public drama that prompted a diplomatic fallout between Washington and Beijing as the American public tracked the balloon from Montana all the way to the Carolinas.

The Biden administration has been subjected to a slew of questions this week about the timing of the president's decision to shoot the spy balloon.

RELATED: Initial classified balloon report wasn't flagged as urgent, drawing criticism

The balloon was spotted after entering the US Air Defense Identification Zone over Alaska on January 28 before flying over Canada, a Department of Defense official told lawmakers last week. It then reentered continental US airspace three days later.

Officials said that the risk of intelligence collection against the US was low, while the risk to people and property on the ground, if the balloon were to be shot down over the US, was high given the balloon's size and weight.

Instead, the military ultimately shot it down over water after it crossed over the East Coast of the US.

RELATED: What we know about the unidentified object shot down over Alaska

The second object was first spotted on Thursday, officials said, and F-35 fighter jets were sent up to examine the object further. The object was flying at 40,000 feet, which posed a "reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight," John Kirby, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, said on Friday.

Biden was first briefed on this object on Thursday evening, Kirby said.

A statement Saturday from US Northern Command said search and recovery operations for the object shot down over Alaska were ongoing.

"Recovery activities are occurring on sea ice," the statement said. "We have no further details at this time about the object, including its capabilities, purpose, or origin."

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

CNN contributed to this post.