Reported By Jack Davis | Published April 24, 2019 at 10:21am
President Donald Trump sent Mexico a warning Wednesday in response to an incident in which Mexican troops reportedly pointed their weapons at U.S. troops.
“Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border. Better not happen again! We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.
On April 13 near Clint, Texas, two U.S. Army members were conducting an operation very close to the Rio Grande, which marks the official border between the two countries.
“[F]ive to six Mexican military personnel questioned two U.S. Army soldiers who were conducting border support operations in an unmarked [Customs and Border Protection] vehicle near the southwest border in the vicinity of Clint, Texas,” the Department of Defense told CNN.
Although the American troops were on U.S. soil, they apparently drove past a border fence that the Mexicans thought marked the boundary, while the incident actually took place just north of the official border. The foreign soldiers pointed weapons and confronted the Americans, even temporarily disarming them. The confrontation was resolved peacefully, officials said.
“After a brief discussion between the soldiers from the two nations, the Mexican military members departed the area,” Northern Command said in a statement, according to Army Times. “The U.S. soldiers immediately contacted CBP, who responded quickly. Throughout the incident, the U.S. soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols.”
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said there was probably more to the story than a simple geographical mixup, according to Fox News.
“These things don’t just happen by accident,” he said. “I don’t know one Border Patrol agent that is going to accept that story that the Mexican military thought that these national guardsmen were in Mexico.”
“We have hundreds upon hundreds incursions by the Mexican military into the U.S., yet we have very few incursions by Border Patrol agents into Mexico,” he said.
The Washington Examiner reported that the incident has triggered a review of the rules for American forces patrolling along the Southern Border. An official whose name was not given said the incident “will help us modify any instructions that we’re giving the troops” about unexpected encounters with Mexican soldiers.
Trump on Wednesday also demanded Mexico take action to block a caravan of migrants from ever reaching the U.S. border.
“A very big Caravan of over 20,000 people started up through Mexico. It has been reduced in size by Mexico but is still coming. Mexico must apprehend the remainder or we will be forced to close that section of the Border & call up the Military. The Coyotes & Cartels have weapons!” Trump wrote.
Mexico said Monday that it detained 371 migrants. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said human traffickers have infiltrated migrant caravans, requiring an active response from Mexican officials.
“We don’t want for them to just have free passage, not just out of legal concerns but for questions of safety,” he said.
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