Mattis lands in Djibouti from Qatar
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Djibouti on Sunday to visit an important military base at the southern entrance to the Red Sea, which is used as a launch pad for operations in Yemen and Somalia. This base,which has 4,000 US military personnel, was recently given broader authority to strike Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab in Somalia. Mattis came from talks in Qatar Saturday with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the fight against the Islamic State group, the conflict in Syria and Iran’s “destabilizing” regional role.
Qatar is home to the Al-Udeid air base which houses around 10,000 US troops. The US base in Djiibouti is just miles form a military facility the Chinese are building.
Mattis Middle East tour took him previously to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel.