The US Defense Department has requested Beijing to investigate incidents of Chinese military staff targeting US airmen with lasers over Djibouti, Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said.
"They are very serious incidents. There have been two minor injuries," White said. "This activity poses a true threat to our airmen. We have formally demarche the Chinese government and we’ve requested that the Chinese investigate these incidents."
Pentagon officials earlier told The Wall Street Journal several multiple laser-related incidents occurred over the past several weeks, including one in which two American service members received minor eye injuries due to a laser beam aimed at their C-130 turboprop.
"The US has notified airmen to exercise caution when flying in certain areas in Djibouti. This notice was issued due to lasers being directed at U.S. aircraft on a small number of separate occasions over the last few weeks. Lasers pointed at aircraft have the potential to cause serious harm to the aircrew and the surrounding area," Pentagon spokeswoman, Maj. Sheryll Klinkel said.
China's base in Djibouti is the first overseas military facility for Beijing, according to media reports. Djibouti is strategically located on the Horn of Africa.