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Biden ordered US military to ‘down’ a ‘high-altitude object’ over Alaska, White House says

Feb 10, 2023, 12:43 PM | Updated: Mar 28, 2023, 5:41 pm

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 22, 2018: An American flag flies over the south facade of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

(CNN) — The White House announced Friday that President Joe Biden ordered the military to down what it described as a “high-altitude object” hovering over Alaska earlier in the day.

“The Department of Defense was tracking a high-altitude object over Alaska airspace in the last 24 hours,” National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby told reporters when asked about rumors of another suspected Chinese surveillance balloon.

The high-altitude object, Kirby said, was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and “posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight.”

He continued, “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 — but inside territorial airspace and over territorial waters. Fighter aircraft assigned to US Northern Command took down the object within last hour.”

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Biden ordered US military to ‘down’ a ‘high-altitude object’ over Alaska, White House says