A confrontation between American and Mexican military personnel earlier this month near Clint, Texas appears to have ended strangely, with Mexican troops disarming the American soldiers with the false impression the latter had intruded on Mexican territory. In reality, the encounter occurred within the territory of the United States.
A statement from the Department of Defense confirmed that the American soldiers allowed themselves to be disarmed in “an attempt to de-escalate a potentially volatile situation.” The two American soldiers, active in the area in support of border security operations, allowed the Mexican forces to place their sidearms in a Customs and Border Patrol Vehicle nearby.
The Pentagon went on to request an explanation from the Mexican government. It’s unclear if Mexico has apologized on behalf of its military personnel for the mistaken intrusion into American territory. The confusion may have been caused by the soldiers’ southern proximity to a security perimeter north of the Rio Grande River, which marks the border between the United States and Mexico across much of Texas. The fence is north of the actual border.
The Mexican soldiers were under the impression that they were in Mexican territory, as opposed to the United States. This wouldn’t be the first time that American and Mexican military have engaged in miniature border disputes, usually involving cases in which one party is unaware in regards to the nation they’re actually in.
Around 3,000 service members of the U.S military, mostly of the National Guard, are currently deployed at the southern border, tasked to assist Customs and Border Patrol with operations to secure the area. U.S troops are limited by federal law from acting directly as law enforcement, and have mostly been charged with acting in an auxiliary fashion to CBP agents. Service members have conducted tasks such as aerial reconnaissance and maintaining vehicles.
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