U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday again threatened to close part of the southern border and send more “armed soldiers” to defend it if Mexico did not block a new caravan of migrants traveling toward the United States, ONAreports quoting Reuters.
“A very big Caravan of over 20,000 people started up through Mexico,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “It has been reduced in size by Mexico but is still coming. Mexico must apprehend the remainder or we will be forced to close that section of the Border & call up the Military.”
Trump also said, without offering details, that Mexican soldiers recently had “pulled guns” on U.S. troops in what he suggested was “a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers.”
“Better not happen again! We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!” Trump tweeted.
It was not clear what Trump meant by “armed soldiers” since at least some of the troops on the border already are armed. It also was unclear what specific caravan Trump was alluding to.
U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they are expecting a request from the Department of Homeland Security in the coming days for additional troops, although that number is expected to be in the low hundreds. About 5,000 active duty and National Guard troops already are at the border.
The U.S. Defense Department said earlier this month that six Mexican military personnel questioned two U.S. Army soldiers near Clint, Texas, about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of El Paso. The U.S. military said the Americans were in an unmarked car and an inquiry had found that they were in U.S. territory.
Newsweek magazine, citing the military report filed on the incident, said the U.S. soldiers were briefly held at gunpoint by the Mexicans, who took one American soldier’s gun and put it in the car.
The Mexican troops had believed the U.S. soldiers were south of the border and therefore in Mexico. After a brief discussion, the Mexican troops left the area, a Mexican official said.
The two U.S. soldiers were traveling in an unmarked vehicle, according to a brief statement issued later on Wednesday by the Mexican foreign ministry, which added to the confusion.