March 26, 1986

The U.S. military forces in the region are conducting an airlift and trooplift operations of Honduran forces this morning. Helicopters are flying now. There are reports of Sandinista troop reinforcement on the Nicaraguan side of the border with Honduras, and there is a question as to what their intent is. It is hoped that the Honduran troop deployments in the south will deter the Sandinista troops from moving into Honduran territory once again.

One of the goals that Honduras has is to head off any further Sandinista troop incursions into Honduras. The Sandinista incursion resulted in significant casualties in the first day of fighting. In short, the situation has not stabilized. It is premature to draw any conclusion that the military situation in the region is over. We have reports this morning that there is a sizable contingent of Nicaraguan forces that remain inside Honduras. We had reports earlier that they had targeted a number of installations inside the Honduran border. Their intentions are not clear. There has been a considerable firefight there over the last 24 to 36 hours and the situation continues much as it was yesterday.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at approximately 9:30 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.