Clint, TX – Two U.S. soldiers were held at gunpoint and disarmed by Mexican troops on American soil on April 19.
CNN reported that five to six Mexican military personnel questioned the two U.S. soldiers who were conducting border support operations.
A U.S. Northern Command statement confirmed that the U.S. soldiers were “appropriately in US territory” during the encounter, according to CNN.
The Mexican soldiers not only pointed their weapons at the U.S. troops, but also removed a soldier’s sidearm and returned it to the unmarked U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle, U.S. military officials said.
CNN reported that the Mexican troops were armed with assault rifles. U.S. officials said the U.S. soldiers allowed the weapon to be taken in an effort to de-escalate the “potential volatile situation.”
“Throughout the incident, the US soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols,” Northern Command said, according to CNN.
The encounter happened south of the border fence in the area but north of the Rio Grande, according to U.S. officials.
The river in that area has brush-filled and dried-out riverbed which makes it “very easy” for people to be confused as to what side of the border they are on.
One of the American soldiers spoke Spanish and explained the situation to the Mexican troops before the Mexican soldiers left in their unmarked pickup.
An inquiry by U.S. officials found that the Mexican military members thought the U.S. soldiers were in Mexico, according to the U.S. Northern Command.
“Though they were south of the border fence, US soldiers remained in US territory, north of the actual border,” the statement said, according to CNN. The statement added that “after a brief discussion between the soldiers from the two nations, the Mexican military members departed the area.”
President Donald Trump has ordered the military to support border security and the U.S. has 3,000 active duty troops and 2,000 National Guard troops in the southern border, CNN reported.