The U.S. government is monitoring an alleged Chinese monitoring balloon, which has been flying through northern states over the last few days.
Pentagon spokesperson Brig. General. Pat Ryder said during an afternoon briefing in the afternoon, that Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the spokesperson for the U.S. Government has identified the presence of a surveillance balloon at high altitude across the continent of the U.S.
“The United States government has identified and is monitoring an observation balloon at high altitude that is flying over the continent of United States right now. It is the U.S. government to include Norad and continues to monitor and track it with a keen eye. The balloon is now traveling at an altitude that is well above the commercial air traffic and is not an immediate threat to the military or for people living who are on the ground. Similar instances of balloon activity were witnessed in the last several years. When the balloon was discovered and spotted, authorities from the U.S. government acted immediately to safeguard against the gathering of sensitive data,” Ryder said.
A top defense official stated”the U.S. government is “confident” that the surveillance balloon is part of China. People’s Republic of China.
A defense official stated that the balloon had been last seen in Montana and officials had considered taking it down with military assets but chose not to do so due to the potential risks and added that the president Joe Biden was briefed on the situation and offered alternatives for military use.
“You have seen reports of an air visit to Billings Airport and the mobilization of various assets which included F-22. The reason for this was that we placed a few items on standby in case it was decided to take this down when it was over Montana. We wanted to ensure that we were working with civil authorities in order to clear of the airspace surrounding that likely zone. Even with the security measures there was a consensus from our army commanders, that we did not take the danger down to a sufficient level. Therefore, we didn’t shoot the risk,” the official said.
US, PHILIPPINES ANNOUNCE NEW AGREEMENT TO RAMP UP MILITARY PRESENCE AMID CHINA-TAIWAN TENSIONS
A highly-placed official in the senior U.S. official told Fox News that the government was contemplating a range of possibilities to respond to this Chinese spy balloon. The official said that the options offered for consideration by Biden as well as his team of national security contained worries that, should the military decide to launch a missile down the balloon it could result in civilian casualties in the process.
The White House hasn’t ruled out firing the balloon down should it be approved as safe as per the source.
Based on the information, there’s more to it than just balloons and heavy machinery could crash on the ground if the balloon was shot down and create a huge debris field.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin convened a meeting with the top Department of Defense leadership Wednesday to discuss the balloon and the decision was not to launch a military strike because of “the danger to the security and safety of the people in the vicinity from the possibility of a debris field” The official explained. In the moment, Austin was in Camp Navarro in the Philippines located around two thousand miles away from China.
The discovery also coincides with it was announced that the U.S. and Philippines agreed to strengthen their military presence in the islands in the face of growing tensions between China and Taiwan.