US navy shoots down Chinese language balloon over coastal waters

Image of a hand holding a needle to a balloon.

Enlarge (credit score: Andrea Nissotti / EyeEm)

On Saturday afternoon, US jets intercepted the Chinese language surveillance balloon because it was leaving the continental US. Stay footage of the occasion exhibits contrails of plane approaching the balloon, adopted by a puff of smoke which will point out the explosion of some ordnance close to the balloon’s envelope—a reporter is heard saying “they simply shot it” within the video embedded beneath. The envelope clearly loses structural integrity shortly afterwards because it plunges in the direction of the ocean. Reportedly, the occasions passed off close to Myrtle Seaside, South Carolina.

Shortly afterwards, the US Division of Protection (DOD) launched an announcement attributed to its Secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III, that confirmed the interception was carried out by US fighter jets on the order of President Biden. The DOD identifies the {hardware} as a “excessive altitude surveillance balloon,” and says that the President approved capturing it down as early as Wednesday. The navy, nevertheless, decided that this might not be accomplished with out posing a threat to US residents, both as a consequence of particles from the balloon itself, or from the ordnance used to destroy it.

Consequently, the navy waited till the balloon was far sufficient offshore to not pose a threat to land, however shut sufficient that it could fall inside US territorial waters, making certain that the nation could be the primary to get well any {hardware} that survived the plunge into the ocean. Secretary Austin additionally thanked Canada for its help in monitoring and intercepting the balloon by way of the international locations’ cooperative North American protection group, NORAD.

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