Armed Mexican troops disarmed two United States soldiers while they were on the American side of the border, U.S. defence officials have said.
Drug smugglers cross Mexico-US border
U.S. Northern Command said in a statement that “five to six Mexican military personnel questioned two U.S. Army soldiers who were conducting border support operations” this month. The U.S. soldiers were in an unmarked Customs and Border Protection [CBP] vehicle near the southwest border near Clint, Texas.
Officials confirmed that the Mexican troops were armed with what seemed to be rifles. They raised their weapons when they saw the two U.S. soldiers, and then took a pistol from one and put it in the CBP vehicle. According to officials speaking to the press, the two Americans obliged “in an attempt to de-escalate a potential volatile situation.”
“Throughout the incident, the U.S. soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols,” the statement said. The two U.S. troops were on the south side of the security perimeter but north of the Rio Grande and thus were in the U.S., according side American territory, it added.
Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security officials demanded an explanation from the Mexican government. “An inquiry by CBP and DOD [Department of Defence] revealed that the Mexican military members believed that the US Army soldiers were south of the border,” the statement said.
“Though they were south of the border fence, U.S. soldiers remained in U.S. territory, north of the actual border.”
In this (unrelated to the featured article) photo provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a silver Jeep Cherokee that suspected smugglers were attempting to drive over the U.S.-Mexico border fence is stuck at the top of a makeshift ramp. U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Yuma Station seized both the ramps and the vehicle, which stalled at the top of the ramp after it became high centered. The fence is approximately 14 feet high where the would-be smugglers attempted to illegally drive across the border. The two suspects fled into Mexico when the agents arrived at the scene. (AP Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
This is not the first time that Mexican troops have made incursions into US territory. Border experts have suggested that the Mexican troops are in cahoots with drug cartels and make these incursions to distract US border patrols and enable drug trafficking.