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US Extends Deployment of Troops to Mexican Border

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon announced Monday that it would extend the deployment of active-duty soldiers and coastguard members at the US-Mexico border until September 30, while expanding the mission to surveillance and detection, AFP reported Tuesday.
Extending the troops’ mission beyond the 31st January deadline, the Pentagon said it is shifting its support from the southwestern border of rugged entry points to mobile surveillance and detection, than the placing of accordion wires between the entry points.
“The DoD will continue to provide support to aviation,” the statement added, referring to the Ministry of Defense.
The Pentagon already has about 2,350 active soldiers deployed along the border, deployed under a controversial order given by President Donald Trump last year before the mid-term elections in November, while several thousand Central Americans migrated to the border to seek refuge from violence and poverty in their own countries.
Critics have decried Trump’s order as a costly political move to galvanize his supporters before the vote, in which his Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives.
Trump spoke of a “national emergency” and an “invasion” – initially suggesting that US troops could fire on migrants if they threw stones at the US border.
In almost every case, the US military is not allowed to get involved in law enforcement of the country, and the border mission has put the supposedly apolitical army in the spotlight.
About 2,200 National Guards supported border operations even before Trump sent troops on active service.
The unusual deployment was scheduled for completion in mid-December but the Department of Homeland Security requested that it be extended until January which is now being extended.
(Sahar News Monitoring desk)

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