Washington, Oct 26 (IANS) The Pentagon on Thursday ordered 800 more troops sent to the southern US border for security tasks, an option that President Donald Trump broached last week when he threatened to close the border using the military.
According to CNN, citing Pentagon sources, Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday could sign the authorization for the troop deployment with the aim of preventing the caravan of Hondurans migrants currently heading northwards through Mexico from crossing the border, which appears to be their ultimate aim.
According to three sources cited by The Washington Post, this measure is being implemented as a direct response to the caravan in far southern Mexico, which at present is comprised of some 7,000 people, including 2,400 children, according to organisers.
Last April, Trump ordered the National Guard deployed to the border in response to news of another migrant caravan, which in that case began its journey northwards in southern Mexico.
Currently, according to the latest figures released by the Defence Department at the end of August, some 2,200 troops remain posted on or near the border, most of them in Texas, and are engaged in support duties related to border security.
When the National Guard deployment began in April, Mattis appeared before the press to explain that the troops would not be involved in police activities and would not enter into contact with anyone who was trying to illegally enter the country, but rather their duties would be limited to monitoring activities.