Pentagon Says It is Monitoring Suspected Chinese language Spy Balloon Over US

Pentagon Says It's Tracking Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon Over US

The official mentioned the balloon flew over the US northwest.


The Pentagon mentioned Thursday that it was monitoring a Chinese language spy balloon flying excessive over the US that seemed to be surveilling extremely delicate nuclear weapons websites.

At President Joe Biden’s request, Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin and high army officers thought of taking pictures the balloon down however determined doing so would endanger too many individuals on the bottom, a senior protection official advised reporters.

The official mentioned the balloon flew over the US northwest the place there are delicate airbases and strategic missiles in silos underground.

“Clearly, the intent of this balloon is for surveillance, and the present flight path does carry it over plenty of delicate websites,” mentioned the official, who spoke on situation of anonymity.

However the Pentagon didn’t imagine it constitutes a very harmful intelligence menace.

“We assess that this balloon has restricted additive worth from an intelligence assortment perspective,” the official mentioned.

The balloon entered US airspace “a pair days in the past,” the official mentioned, including that US intelligence had been monitoring it properly earlier than that.

After Biden requested what the choices had been to cope with it, on Wednesday Austin, who was within the Philippines, held discussions with high Pentagon officers.

Fighter jets had been flown to look at the balloon whereas it was above Montana as discussions passed off.

However the Pentagon determination was “to not take kinetic motion because of the threat to security and safety of individuals on the bottom from the doable particles subject,” the official mentioned.

It was flying at a excessive sufficient altitude to not threaten business aviation, the official added.

China has despatched surveillance balloons over the US up to now.

Nonetheless, this one has lingered in US airspace a lot loner, the official mentioned.

“We’re taking steps nonetheless to guard in opposition to overseas intelligence assortment of delicate data,” the official mentioned.


© Agence France-Presse

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