Colombian military forces have confirmed sighting of an object thatwhich resembled a balloon in the country’s airspace, just as an alleged Chinese spy balloon flew over sensitive military installations in the United States and was subsequently shot down.
“The National Air Defense System has detected an object above 55,000 feet, which entered Colombian airspace in the northern sector of the countrymoving at an average speed of 25 knots, identifying balloon-like characteristics,” the Colombian Air Force (FAC) said in a statement released Saturday night.
According to the statement, the Air Force has tracked the object. “until it left Colombian airspace”, emphasizing that it had determined that this “element did not pose a threat to national security and defense, as well as aviation safety”. Colombian authorities have not mentioned the possible origin of the strange object.
The U.S. military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday after flying over sensitive military installations the day before, Washington said.
China has insisted that the globe it was just an errant civilian plane used primarily for meteorological research it drifted in winds and had only limited “self-steering” capabilities.
“China expresses its strong discontent and protests against the use of force by the United States to attack a civilian unmanned aircraft,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that it reserves “the right to provide further answers”.
US authorities also announced the presence of a second balloon flying over Latin America.
The plane flew over the United States for several days, escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing, before being shot down over the Atlantic by a missile launched from an F-22 jet on Saturday, Pentagon officials said.
President Joe Biden congratulated the F-22 pilots.
“Today’s deliberate and legitimate action demonstrates that President Biden and his national security team will always put the safety of the American people first and will effectively respond to the unacceptable violation of our sovereignty by the PRC,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.
Several blurry videos were uploaded to social networks in Colombia signaling the presence of the object in the north of the country, as well as in the nearby Venezuelan city of Maracaibo.
The government of the Venezuelan president has so far neither confirmed nor denied the presence of an alleged balloon in its territory.
According to Washington, the balloon was flying over en commercial air trafficor posed “no military threat or physical for people on land.” But he declined to specify whether the device was moved by the wind or in a controlled way.
It’s not the first time the US military has reported such an intrusion, but this aircraft has stayed longer than others in US airspace.
Source: AP, EFE and AFP
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.