WASHINGTON (AP) — The White Home on Monday defended the shootdowns of three unidentified objects in as many days even because it acknowledged that it had no indication they have been supposed for surveillance in the identical method because the high-altitude Chinese language balloon that traversed American airspace earlier this month.
The three objects, together with one shot down Sunday over Lake Huron, have been touring at such a low-altitude as to pose a threat to civilian air visitors, stated White Home nationwide safety spokesman John Kirby. And although the Biden administration doesn’t but have proof that they have been outfitted for spying functions, and even belonged to China, officers additionally could not rule it out both, he stated.
“These have been selections based mostly purely and easily on what was in one of the best pursuits of the American individuals,” Kirby stated.
Kirby spoke from the White Home podium hours after China alleged that greater than 10 U.S. high-altitude balloons have flown in its airspace through the previous 12 months with out its permission. American officers have vigorously denied the declare, with Kirby saying Monday, “We aren’t flying surveillance balloons over China.”
Although the origins and function of the three objects most not too long ago shot down are nonetheless unknown, their mere presence in American air house ratcheted up issues amongst American nationwide safety officers in mild of an enormous balloon that the U.S. believes was geared explicitly for surveillance and that was shot down over the Carolina coast on Feb. 4 by U.S. fighter jets.
The Chinese language allegation got here after the U.S. shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had crossed from Alaska to South Carolina, sparking a brand new disaster in bilateral relations which have spiraled to their lowest degree in a long time.
Since then, fighter jets additionally shot down objects over Canada and Alaska, and one other one over Lake Huron on Sunday.