Pentagon chief visits African nation home to key U.S. base
DJIBOUTI | Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Sunday visited Djibouti to bolster ties with the tiny and impoverished African country that is home to an important base for U.S. counterterrorism forces, including drones.
Mr. Mattis, the first Trump administration official to visit Djibouti, planned to meet with President Ismail Omar Guelleh and greet U.S. and French troops. Mr. Mattis was accompanied by Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, head of U.S. Africa Command. The U.S. operates drone aircraft from Djibouti for surveillance and combat missions against al Qaedaaffiliated extremists in Somalia and elsewhere in the region.