A US fighter jet shot down an unidentified flying object over Canada on Saturday afternoon, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced.
The news came shortly after the North American Aerospace Defense Command warned of a “high-altitude airborne object” flying over northern Canada.
“I ordered the downing of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace,” Trudeau said in a statement on Twitter.
“Canadian and US aircraft were scrambled and a US F-22 successfully fired on the object,” he said, adding that Canadian authorities will now “analyze” the wreckage.
It is the second object shot down over North American skies in the past two days. On Friday, the White House announced that an unidentified object posing a “reasonable threat” had been shot down over Alaska. The Pentagon has kept its mouth shut about the incident, saying only that the object was the size of a small car and unmanned at 40,000 feet.
Northern Command offered an update on Saturday, saying it had “no further details at this time about the object, including its capabilities, purpose or origin”.
Earlier this month, on February 4, an American fighter shot down an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina after spending several days crossing the country.
In recent weeks, a series of flying objects have been spotted over several countries in the Western Hemisphere, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the US and China.
China eventually acknowledged the existence of the balloon shot down last week, but claimed it was purely civilian in nature and had been blown off course by unexpected weather conditions.
The fallout from the discovery has prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel an upcoming trip to China aimed at cooling relations between the two superpowers, which have exchanged increasingly hostile rhetoric in recent months.
In the days following the first balloon sighting, other similar objects were spotted in the skies over Costa Rica and Colombia. China claimed that these balloons also had no intelligence-gathering function.
Recent intelligence has revealed an increased Chinese airborne surveillance effort, which has seen the country using the giant inflatables to snoop everywhere from Europe to Southeast Asia.
Trudeau said he is in touch with President Joe Biden and that the US is working with Canada on a recovery effort.