Djibouti Lasers: Chinese Military Disturb US Air Crews in Africa

Marines djibouti

Chinese Military Targeting US Flight Crews Over Djibouti With Lasers - Reports

The allegations, including a claim that two U.S. air force pilots suffered eye injuries during one laser attack, drew swift Chinese denials, China's defence ministry dismissing them as being "in complete contradiction of the facts".

Pentagon spokeswoman Maj. Sheryll Klinkel said the lasers could "cause serious harm to the aircrew and the surrounding area", adding that "the grade of the lasers are of military grade" and that "reports by the pilots were that they came from the direction of the Chinese base nearby", according to The Wall Street Journal. Opened in 2001, the installation has become a vital staging point for U.S.

Despite signing the U.N.'s "Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons" in 1998 along with the USA, in 2015, a Chinese military newspaper reported, "China has been updating its home-made blinding laser weapons in recent years to meet the needs of different combat operations".

USA officials said the beam is coming from a military grade laser, and that they are confident the Chinese are behind the incidents.

The alleged incidents reinforce United States concerns about the creation of the first overseas military base China near the largest USA military base in Africa, and the growing reputation of China as a world military power.

"We've raised concerns directly with the Chinese about this, and there will be near-term and long-term consequences", White House spokeswoman warned bluntly, even as President Trump praised Xi's role in Korea.

In the past few weeks, about 10 incidents took place, she said.

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According to the source, the result of one incident last month, two American military transport aircraft C-130 received an eye injury due to laser application.

Officials have issued a formal diplomatic complaint and demanded Beijing investigate a series of incidents dating back several weeks, spokeswoman Dana White said.

There are about 4,000 United States personnel in Djibouti, based at Camp Lemonnier.

"The US has notified airmen to exercise caution when flying in certain areas in Djibouti". The Chinese base is close to Camp Lemonnier, a hub for American missions in the region.

Djibouti is strategically located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal.

China and Russian Federation have also recently forged a military partnership, which China's defense minister said was to "let the Americans know about the close ties between the armed forces of China and Russian Federation".

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