- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 5, 2019

President Trump offered Mexico the services of the U.S. military Tuesday to clean out the drug-cartel “monsters” who killed nine U.S. citizens in a gun attack.

“The cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!” Mr. Trump said on Twitter. “If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively.”

But Mexico’s president said Mr. Trump’s offer to “wage war” on the cartels is “not an option.”

Authorities said nine U.S. citizens, including six children, who lived in the Mexican border state of Sonora were killed in the shooting attack that was believed to have been carried out by cartel gunmen.

A relative of some of the vicitms said as many as 15 others were missing in the attack that may have been a case of mistaken identity. They were part of a convoy of three vehicles that had set out Monday from a settlement founded as part of an offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mr. Trump said “a wonderful family and friends from Utah got caught between two vicious drug cartels, who were shooting at each other, with the result being many great American people killed, including young children, and some missing.”

He said the Mexico’s new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has made fighting the cartels “a big issue,” but suggested that Mexico could use the help of the U.S. to combat the violence.

Mr. López Obrador refused that approach, saying at a Tuesday news conference, “The worst thing you can have is war.”

“We declared war, and it didn’t work,” he said, referring to the policies of previous administrations. “That is not an option.”

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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