AP: U.S. Soldiers Issued Bayonets Before Operation Against U.S. Demonstrators
Army soldiers stationed in Washington D.C. in the operation against demonstrators protesting George Floyd’s death were armed with bayonets, according to The Associated Press.
The soldiers are a part of President Trump’s call for greater military presence against the protesters, using tactics like low flying helicopters and armed soldiers as a show of force.
Show-of-force missions are intended to intimidate, and in combat zones, warn opponents of potential military action.
After the AP’s initial report of bayonets on Tuesday, the outlet later reported “orders came down that soldiers would not need the knife-like weapons that can be affixed to rifles, according to two soldiers from the 82nd who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear they would be punished for commenting publicly.”
The AP noted: “The idea that bayonets could be used in confronting civilians provoked an outcry on social media and among some members of Congress.”
Hundreds of soldiers arrived at the two military bases near Washington D.C. on Tuesday, and two Pentagon officials said that another 1,400 soldiers were ready to be mobilized.
- The mission has been named “Operation Themis,” according to officials. The name alludes to Greek mythology in which Themis was a titaness whose symbols are the scale of justice.