The US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin, confirmed this Saturday that the United States, by an order given by President Joe Biden last Wednesday, has “successfully” shot down the Chinese “spy balloon” that had been flying over the territory for days.
Through a statement, he specified that the device, “which was being used by the People’s Republic of China in an attempt to monitor strategic sites in the continental United States” was shot down with two combat planes over the waters, off the coast of South Carolina.
“Today’s deliberate and lawful action demonstrates that President (Joe) Biden and his national security team will always put the security of the American people first and respond effectively to the PRC’s unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” stated Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
The first confirmation came from the residents of the coast of South Carolina, who soon shared the images on social networks. In them you can see how the object is reached by two US Air Force fighter jets and falls on the atlantic ocean as it is torn to pieces. Once in the water, he began the second part of the operation, which involved recovering the remains.
Next, the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin confirmed that, under the leadership of Joe Biden, they had “successfully” shot down the Chinese “spy balloon”. For his part, he Pentagon pointed out that it wase in response to the “unacceptable” violation of the Chinese regime over the country that took days.
Minutes before, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had arranged the closure of three airports in the areawhich suggested that it could be a preventive measure against this operation, although without any type of confirmation in this regard.
“The FAA has stopped departures and arrivals at the Wilmington (ILM), Myrtle Beach International (MYR) and Charleston International (CHS) airports to support the Department of Defense in a national security effort,” the agency had reported in its social networks.
For his part, hours before, the president Joe Biden He had referred to the subject for the first time when he was consulted by journalists from New York but he had not given many details about it either. “We are taking care of it”, delcaró. However, at first, the president had refrained from shooting it down on the advice of defense experts concerned about the injuries that the remains of him could cause to people on the ground.
The situation changed when the flight projections indicated that it would approach the Atlantic Ocean, where the operation would not entail a risk to citizens.
Moments before he was killed, local authorities had warned North and South Carolinians not to fire their rifles at him and had been made aware of military aircraft arriving in the area.
Brian Branch, engineer and storm chaser, came to capture photographs of the balloon over the west of the state in which the cargo hanging from the white round balloon was distinguished and that, according to the authorities, it was the size of three school buses.
“I’m surprised they didn’t shoot it down over Montana,” Branch told the agency, however. PA.
The maneuverable balloon had entered United States airspace over Alaska earlier this week though it was not released until Thursday, a day after commercial flights ground to a temporary halt at the Billings, Montana airport and people on the ground spotted the balloon apparently hovering above the city.
The fact raised to the maximum the strain between Washington and Beijing, which tried to play it off by saying that it was a meteorological research vessel that had strayed from its route. However, the United States rejected this version and even suspended the visit of the Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkento the Asian country.
(With information from AP and EFE)
The US temporarily closed three airports in the area where the Chinese spy balloon flew over
The United States confirmed that it shot down the Chinese spy balloon
The Chinese test balloon to measure the reaction of the United States