Two US soldiers were questioned by Mexican troops earlier this month while conducting a surveillance operation on the US side of the southern border, two US defense officials tell CNN.
“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,” US Northern Command told CNN in a statement.
“The US soldiers were appropriately in US territory” during the encounter, the statement added.
The soldiers were in an unmarked Customs and Border Protection vehicle near the southwest border in the vicinity of Clint, Texas.
Officials confirmed that the Mexican troops were armed with what seemed to be assault rifles. They drew their weapons when they saw the two U.S. soldiers and ordered the U.S. troops to return their weapons to a military vehicle. According to officials, the two Americans obliged “in an attempt to de-escalate a potentially volatile situation.”
“Throughout the incident, the U.S. soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols,” Northern Command said in a statement.
While the two U.S. troops were on the south side of the security perimeter, officials say that they were still north of the Rio Grande and thus were firmly inside American territory. After the incident, military and Department of Homeland Security officials sent an inquiry to the Mexican government demanding an explanation.
“An inquiry by CBP and DOD revealed that the Mexican military members believed that the US Army soldiers were south of the border,” said Northern Command, referring to Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Defense.
“Though they were south of the border fence, U.S. soldiers remained in U.S. territory, north of the actual border,” the statement said, adding that “after a brief discussion between the soldiers from the two nations, the Mexican military members departed the area.”
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