Jim Mattis, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis landed in Djibouti on Sunday 23/4/2017 to visit a key military base at the southern entrance to the Red Sea that is used as a launch pad for operations in Yemen and Somalia.
The visit to Djibouti is part of Mattis’s week-long trip to the Middle East and Africa. His visit comes as pressure mounts on U.S. to take action against Islamist terrorist groups such as Al-Shabaab and ISIS in the region.
U.S. has a key base in Djibouti which has about 4,000 personnel and is locate just a few miles from a Chinese military base that is still under construction.
President Donald Trump recently granted the U.S. military broader authority to strike Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia and subsequently sent a contingent of soldiers to train SNA forces.
U.S. is also carrying out strikes in Yemen against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Mattis’ trip also comes amid a recent surge in piracy off Somalia coast.