(NewsNation) — The “high altitude” object discovered over Canada was shot down for violating Canadian airspace, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Saturday.
Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand confirmed the object shot down was “cylindrical,” flying at 40,000 feet.
According to Anand, Canadian and American air defense waited until daylight to target and shoot the aircraft down, and crews are now pinpointing where the debris has landed.
“The purpose of the mission today was to take down the object, and it wasn’t possible to analyze that object at the exact same time,” Anand told “NewsNation” correspondent Alex Nerska.
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) shot down the object over the Yukon after Canadian and U.S. aircrafts were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object, according to a tweet from Trudeau.
Shortly before Trudeau’s tweet Saturday, NORAD reported it had detected an object flying at high altitude over Canada, which they were monitoring.
Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement that NORAD first detected the object over Alaska late Friday evening, before it entered Canadian airspace.
“Two F-22 aircrafts from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska monitored the object over U.S. airspace with the assistance of Alaska Air National Guard refueling aircraft, tracking it closely and taking time to characterize the nature of the object,” said Ryder in the statement.
In a second tweet, Trudeau said: “I spoke with President Biden this afternoon. Canadian Forces will now recover and analyze the wreckage of the object. Thank you to NORAD for keeping the watch over North America.”
The object was the third known to have violated North American airspace in the past two weeks.
The Federal Aviation Administration also temporarily shut down some airspace above Montana Saturday evening to “support Department of Defense activities,” after a fourth flying object was discovered in Montana’s airspace, according to a statement from the FAA’s public affairs specialist, Ian Gregor. The airspace has now been reopened and there have been no reports on what happened to the object spotted over Montana.
On Friday, an unknown object flying off the northern coast of Alaska was shot down by the U.S. military, about a week after the U.S. shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the South Carolina coast.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said President Joe Biden ordered the military to down the object, which the spokesman described as a “reasonable threat” to the safety of civilian flights, saying it was roughly the size of a small car that was not “self-maneuvering.”
In a statement, the Northern Command said the Alaska Command, the Alaska National Guard, the FBI and local law enforcement were conducting search-and-recovery for the object downed on Friday.
“Arctic weather conditions, including wind chill, snow, and limited daylight, are a factor in this operation, and personnel will adjust recovery operations to maintain safety,” the statement said.
The Chinese surveillance balloon brought down just days before had also charted a path over Alaska before being brought down over the waters near South Carolina.
Comparing the two situations was like “apples to oranges,” Kirby said, but there was little information available about the object, including whether it had surveillance equipment on it.
“We are going to remain vigilant about our airspace. The safety of the American people is paramount,” Kirby said.
While these recent incidents have raised concerns about foreign surveillance, retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer told “NewsNation” his sources indicate there have been several similar events near Hawaii and the Mexican border.
Some Republican senators who criticized the delay in shooting down the Chinese balloon spotted last Saturday praised the administration’s handling of the second object.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said no malicious foreign flying craft from the Pacific should ever get beyond her state.
“When things are coming across from China, or when things are coming across from Russia, let us be that first line of defense for the rest of the country,” said Murkowski.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.