Senior U.S. military commanders are being very tight-lipped about how or what federal troops engaged in battle with today near Texas State Highway 349.
Local radio news in Midland reports that the Texas state police have blockaded portions of the highway, although their purpose for doing so is presently unknown.
Chuck Norris, the action film star, says this is likely more “than a military exercise.” But how much more.
The first battle on Texas soil since the Civil War has led presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex) to demand an immediate explanation from the White House.
None has been forthcoming.
Early reports of federal troops seizing the Midland airport have now been dismissed. But reporters have seen soldiers guarding the perimeter of the airport with heavy machine guns.
Flight operations continued on schedule throughout the day with no disruption, according to airport authorities.
Columns of thick black smoke rose northwest of the airport in the late afternoon. Reporters could not immediately assess who or what the troops had engaged during the firefight near Highway 349.
Refugees streaming from the conflict area could give no detailed account of the battle or who the U.S. troops had engaged, either. “I just heard some terrible explosions followed by gunfire on the other side of the highway from my farm,” said local farmer Elmer Perkins, “but I don’t known who was getting shot at or why.”
Midland-Odessa media outlets speculated that the combatants could be anything from Islamic State terrorists to Texas militia troops and possibly even Texas national guard troops or Arkansas guard soldiers as previously reported.
“I don’t know whether they attacked my neighbors or some kind of crypto-commie terrorist group. I don’t know whether to cheer or cry,” said QuickTrip manager Floyd McCutchin from his convenience store near the airport.
“This is exactly what Chuck warned us about. Everyone should go home and get their gun,” shouted McCutchin’s wife Hazel, who was immediately shouted down by patrons at the convenience store.
McCutchin’s neighbor Fred Bennett thought that federal troops might have engaged some sort of alien race destined to enslave Americans for an unknown purpose.
“By alien, I don’t mean illegal aliens like the kind that Trump feller talks about.” Bennett went on to add, “I mean real aliens like you see in sci-fi movies.”
McCutchin or Bennett hadn’t visited the battle site, however, and didn’t know if there were any visible alien casualties.
Initial reports said that federal troops had also attacked a convoy of Walmart trucks on Interstate I-20 near the airport. A Walmart spokesman quickly denied the report and produced footage of the trucks in question arriving at a Walmart supply depot on the outskirts of Arlington, Texas. Michael Harris, the Walmart spokesman, said from the company’s Bentonville, AR headquarters, “This whole thing is nuts, and we don’t want to be a part of it in any way. Scram!”
We’ll continue following Operation Jade Helm with periodic updates.
Iraq War Photo: Courtesy of the BBC and Corbis.
Air Force Sergeant on guard duty at Baghdad International Airport: U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lisa M. Zunzanyika – http://www.af.mil/weekinphotos/wipgallery.asp?week=38. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.