An FBI Special Agent assigned to the bureau’s Evidence Response Team processed material recovered from the high-altitude Chinese balloon that was shot down by a US military jet off the coast of South Carolina. This image was released by the FBI on February 9, 2023. Photo/FBI/REUTERS
WASHINGTON – The United States (US) military has observed a number of suspected Chinese reconnaissance balloons in the Middle East in recent years.
This statement was made by the Head of the Air Force Central Command Lieutenant General Alexus Grynkewich on Monday (13/2/2023).
Washington and Beijing have traded accusations of espionage since the US shot down several high-altitude objects in recent days.
“While we have seen high-altitude balloons in the region before, they do not pose a threat, they are not of any concern to us,” Grynkewich said at an event organized by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a think tank funded by the US military and arms industry. .
Also read: Ministry of Foreign Affairs: US Balloons Enter Chinese Territory More Than 10 Times Since Early 2022
Across the US military’s Central Command, which covers the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, one “major incident” involving balloons occurred last fall.
The “other one or two” happened in previous years, according to the general.
These balloons, which Grynkewich identified as Chinese, “have not yet been hung from American bases or posed any threat to our troops,” he said.
“The level of concern that I have about them is very low. It’s not something that keeps me from sleeping,” he said.
US warplanes shot down a “Chinese reconnaissance balloon” off the coast of South Carolina just over a week ago, after it had crossed most of the country.
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