Two U.S. Army soldiers were disarmed, detained and questioned by several Mexican troops who crossed into the U.S. last week, the U.S. military has confirmed.
“On April 13, 2019, at approximately 2 p.m. CDT, five 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,” U.S. Northern Command told CNN in a statement.
“An inquiry by (Customs and Border Patrol) and (the Department of Defense) revealed that the Mexican military members believed that the US Army soldiers were south of the border,” the statement added.
The U.S. Army soldiers were reportedly sitting in an unmarked Customs and Border Protection-owned Chevrolet Tahoe just south of the border fence but north of the actual border when they were confronted.
“Though they were south of the border fence, US soldiers remained in US territory, north of the actual border,” the statement explained. In some areas of Texas, the border fence does not match the exact location of the border line.
The U.S. Army soldiers didn’t have enough time to request emergency assistance before they were quickly approached by the Mexican troops wielding FX-05 Xiuhcoatl military rifles, Newsweek reported.
They were instructed to stand at the front of the vehicle where they were searched and disarmed. One of the Mexican soldiers removed the Army sergeant’s Beretta M9 service pistol and placed it inside the vehicle.
Officials said the sergeant permitted the Mexican soldier to disarm them “in an attempt to de-escalate a potential volatile situation.”
“After a brief discussion between the soldiers from the two nations, the Mexican military members departed the area. The U.S. soldiers immediately contacted CBP, who responded quickly. Throughout the incident, the U.S. soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols,” Deputy Director of public affairs for NORAD and U.S. Northern Command John Cornelio told Newsweek.
The soldiers were part of B Battery, 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, and deployed as part of the southern border support mission ordered by President Trump in Oct. 2018.
The Mexican troops sped away in a Ford pickup truck with no “identifiable seals or symbols.”
The incident occurred less than two weeks after President Trump said he is considering expanding the border support mission in response to the growing crisis, as Military Times reported.
“I’m going to have to call up more military,” he said, though not specifying how many troops could be deployed.
Approximately 5,000 U.S. service members are deployed to the southern border – 3,000 of which are active duty troops and some 2,000 National Guardsmen.
Interesting enough this is not an isolated incident. According to Homeland Security numbers, there have been over 300 incursions by Mexican police or troops in the last few year. The Mexicans were armed in slightly more than half of those incidents, totaling 525 people. There was a verbal or physical altercation between U.S. authorities and the Mexicans in 81 instances — totaling 320 Mexican police or troops.
The debate over incursions comes even as tensions on the U.S. side of the border have escalated amid a surge of children from Central America trying to cross the border, fleeing violence and poverty at home and hoping to reunite with families here.
Recently the FBI arrested the leader of a Vigilante Militia Border Patrol Group who have been accused of detaining illegal aliens. It is speculated the Mexican Troops suspected the US Army Soldiers were actually civilian vigilantes initially. Previously Mexican Soldiers had actually fired upon a Vigilante Militia Group who took it upon themselves to carry out Federal Operation along the US/ Mexican Border.
Jack Foote, a spokesman for property protection group Ranch Rescue,
stated a squad of his volunteers spotted two armed
Mexican soldiers wearing green combat fatigues and Kevlar helmets on U.S.
soil adjacent to property the group was asked to protect.
Foote said his volunteers, part of a mission Ranch Rescue dubbed “Operation
Thunderbird,” deployed at the landowner’s request to interdict smuggling of
illegal aliens and drugs on the property, reported the shootings about 5:22
p.m. Saturday. There were no injuries, and Ranch Rescue members, who are
patrolling the property armed, did not return fire.
“He waited until the first two soldiers moved into the clear. One was
carrying an AK-47 and the other an RPK,” a light machine gun version of the
AK. “Both were wearing [olive drab] green fatigues and Kevlar helmets,”
Foote said the man yelled in Spanish for the two soldiers to
stop, but they turned around instead. Volunteers reported seeing the
entire unit run back into Mexico. It wasn’t clear how many Mexican soldiers
had crossed into the U.S.
In 2015 a serious incursion occurred in Arizona, in which two heavily armed and camouflaged Mexican soldiers crossed 50 yards over the border and held Border Patrol agents at gunpoint in a tense confrontation.
Based on documents obtained from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Judicial Watch has uncovered the details of an incident on June 26, 2014, in which a Mexican government helicopter crossed into U.S. airspace and opened fire on U.S. Border Patrol personnel located in a clearly marked position. The CBP documents were released in response to a July 9, 2014, Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.