Pentagon Files Complaint With Chinese Government, DEMANDS Investigation
According to Fox News, the Pentagon says China is responsible for nearly 10 instances of military-grade lasers being flashed at American pilots trying to land at a base in Africa, charges Beijing dismissed Friday as “groundless accusations.”
The U.S. believes Chinese nationals are perpetrating the laser attacks, which have caused minor injuries to two pilots, and has filed a formal complaint asking Beijing to investigate, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said Thursday. But China pushed back, denying any culpability.
In one case, two pilots on a C-130 cargo plane suffered minor eye injuries as they came into land at the base in the Horn of Africa nation, another spokeswoman, Major Sheryll Klinkel, told AFP.
Located at Djibouti international airport, the US military’s Camp Lemonnier base is its only permanent facility in Africa. It is used largely for counter-terrorism operations in East Africa and Yemen.
China last year opened a naval base in Djibouti, only a few miles (kilometers) from the US facility, marking the first overseas base for Beijing’s rapidly growing military, AFP wrote.
White said she was “confident” that whoever had shone the high-powered lasers was Chinese.
As Reported By Bill Gertz with The Free Beacon:
The Djibouti incidents appear similar to the 1997 incident involving a Russian merchant ship that was shadowing a Navy missile submarine and fired a laser on a Canadian surveillance helicopter.
The laser damaged the eyes of the Navy Lt. Jack Daly and Canadian pilot Captain Patrick Barnes near Washington state and was covered up by the administration of President Bill Clinton.
China and the United States have battled over international trade and finance after the Trump administration announced it will impose tariffs on China for its unfair trade practices.
The U.S. and Chinese militaries also have squared off in the South China Sea where China is seeking to take control of the strategic waterway. The U.S. military has been seeking to counter the illegal claim by sending ships and aircraft near disputed islands in the sea that have been militarized in recent years by China.
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