US Military Shoots Down Suspected Spy Balloon

US Military Fires on Suspected Spy Balloon

( – On February 4, residents living in the Carolinas spotted a large white ball in the sky that appeared to be on its way to the Atlantic Ocean. At approximately 3 pm EST, an F-22 Raptor fighter jet approached a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon, eventually shooting it down with a single air-to-air missile. The aircraft entered US airspace on January 28 and crossed most of the continental United States.

The balloon traversed North America for days, pausing over several sensitive military sites along the way. However, the Pentagon claims to have jammed its signal to prevent it from sending any information back to China. Unnamed defense and military officials also claimed they gathered important intelligence information from observing the unmanned vehicle’s maneuvers.

President Joe Biden gave the order to have the balloon shot down and later commended the pilot for a job well done. Biden wanted the device destroyed sooner, but military officials advised against taking it out over the land, warning that it posed a serious risk to people and property on the ground. Instead, the officials told the president to wait until the device was over the ocean to shoot it out of the sky.

China’s Foreign Ministry of Affairs released a statement condemning the unprovoked “US attack on a civilian unmanned airship,” calling it an overreaction violative of international norms. Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng subsequently submitted an official complaint to the US Embassy in Beijing.

The balloon’s presence over US airspace and Biden’s order to have it shot down came at a time when relations between America and China were already troubled and in a tailspin. Tension was easing, leading US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to plan a trip to Beijing. However, the recent developments have prompted the American official to cancel that trip.

The balloon’s debris scattered across a seven-mile area. US officials hope to recover surveillance equipment and other materials of interest to intelligence and defense agencies. The US government is taking any items it retrieves to the FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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