The United States formally complained to China after Chinese nationals pointed lasers at US military aircraft near Djibouti, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, hosts a US military base that is home to about 4,000 personnel, including special operations forces, and is a launch pad for operations in Yemen and Somalia.
The US military has been grappling with lasers being pointed at aircraft for decades. However, the Pentagon accusations highlight the concern the United States has about a Chinese military base just miles from a critical US base in Djibouti.
“They are very serious incidents … We have formally démarched the Chinese government and we’ve requested the Chinese investigate these incidents,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told reporters.
The White House said the Pentagon was confident the lasers had been pointed by Chinese nationals and in the past few weeks fewer than 10 incidents had taken place. A US…