A video shows a Chinese surveillance balloon drifting east toward the Atlantic was shot down by US forces and is now falling into the sea.
The news came shortly after the Federal Aviation Administration halted flights at three Carolina airports, citing “national security” needs as Chinese surveillance balloons were heading east past those states. I came when
“The FAA has suspended airport departures and arrivals at Wilmington (ILM), Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), and Charleston International Airport (CHS) in support of the Department of Defense’s national security efforts.” 4. Suspension is in effect until at least 2:45 p.m.
Television footage showed the balloon falling into the water around 2:40 p.m. after it exploded. US military jets were seen flying nearby, and ships were deployed in the water to prepare for recovery operations.
President Joe Biden broke the balloon’s silence early on Saturday, telling reporters, “We’re going to handle it.”
Several news outlets have also cited unnamed officials as saying that Biden had given the green light to a plan to shoot down a balloon over the Atlantic. Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Army General Mark Milley, and U.S. Union Commander Gen. White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Friday that she had voiced her strong opposition by pointing out the potential harm to civilians on the ground. rice field.
“We’re keeping track and putting all the options on the table,” she said.
The balloon, dubbed a “high-altitude surveillance balloon” by US officials, has garnered attention since it was spotted over an airfield in Montana, one of three US states with nuclear missile bases. Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Late Friday, General Pat Ryder confirmed the presence of his second Chinese balloon flying over Latin America.
It drifted over Asheville, North Carolina, and passed near Charlotte on Saturday morning.
US officials have so far estimated the size of about three school buses flying at about 60,000 feet.
The balloon invasion has set alarms in Washington, with members of Congress questioning why balloons are allowed to stay in the air.
An ill-timed balloon incident forced Secretary of State Anthony Brinken to postpone a trip to Beijing scheduled for Friday.
Late Friday, a spokesperson for Sen. Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) said the Biden administration will hold confidential briefings with four congressional leaders in the House and Senate, as well as the chairs and executives of the House and Senate Select Committees. said it would take place. Information on balloon incidents at the request of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).