The US tracks a balloon that China would have used for espionage 1:57
The US military has shot down China's suspected spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean, a US official said.
The spy balloon was first spotted in the sky over Montana earlier this week and traveled across the center of the country following weather patterns before leaving the continental United States on Saturday.
On Saturday at noon, President Joe Biden said his government would take over the alleged spy balloon, speaking from Syracuse, New York, where he is visiting his family.
Hours later, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) order closed three airports and restricted airspace over North and South Carolina "in support of the Department of Defense."
An alleged spy balloon from China flies over the United States: What is it?
What are you looking for?
Where would it go?
This Thursday the United States reported that the Department of Defense was monitoring the route of an alleged spy balloon from China.
The episode has generated a new wave of tensions between Beijing and Washington, which caused the postponement of a trip by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China scheduled for the next few days.
A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, on February 1, 2023, in this image obtained from social media.
More specifically, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said Friday that the US government has been tracking the balloon — which is as big as three buses — for several days as it made its way over the north of the country. , adding that it was "traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a physical or military threat to people on the ground."
As of Friday, senior military officials had advised US President Joe Biden not to shoot it down for fear the debris could pose a threat to the safety of people on the ground, the defense official said.
hot air balloon Joe Biden