News Worms
News Worms

Jordan soldier jailed for life for killing USA trainers

Jordan soldier jailed for life for killing USA trainers

A badge with a photo of Sgt. Matthew Lewellen, a slain U.S. Army Green Beret, is shown pinned to the chest of his father, Charles, in Amman, Jordan, Monday, July 17, 2017.

Witnesses to the November 4 incident said that a four-car convoy was entering the base when Jordanian guards heard a low sound and thought it might be a pistol shot.

However, relatives of the slain USA troops have described security camera footage that they say shows him shooting for six minutes, reloading and aiming at the Americans, even as they identify themselves as friendly forces.

Relatives of the killed Green Berets were hoping for a death sentence and stated that life in prison was not good enough, the Associated Press reports.

"I have all the respect for the king", he said, "but I was doing my job".

Relatives of two of the dead soldiers sat quietly as the judge announced his ruling in a crowded courtroom.

The US Embassy in Amman expressed its satisfaction with the verdict in a statement issued shortly after the judgment was heard. Relatives of the slain USA soldiers also had criticized Jordan's handling of the case. Jordan initially said the Americans triggered the shooting by disobeying entry rules, a claim that was later withdrawn.

Initially Jordanian state media blamed the incident on the USA soldiers' failure to adhere to proper procedures at the base's entrance.

"We are reassured to see the perpetrator brought to justice", the Pentagon said in a statement to NPR.

The Green Berets had been training Syrian rebels at the airbase as part of a USA -led effort to create an anti-Islamic State force in Syria. Jordan hosts troops, including trainers, from the US and other countries as part of the anti-IS battle. About 2,000 USA troops are in Jordan.

Davis wouldn't comment on possible motives for the killing.

As the soldiers waited outside a gate to the base, Sergeant Tawayha opened fire with his M-16 rifle, killing Sergeant McEnroe and mortally wounding Sergeant Lewellen, who were both in the second vehicle of the convoy. Other guards said they held their fire because they couldn't determine the source of the sound. Moriarty and another soldier jumped out of their cars to take cover and returned fire from their pistols, according to the descriptions of the video. They tried to make clear that they were not a threat, but when the shooting continued, they returned fire. He was seriously wounded in the exchange.

Surveillance video of the encounter was not publicly screened, but was shown to relatives of the victims.

Jordanian judges preside over the trial of Maarik Al-Tawaiha, charged with the killing of three American military trainers outside an army base previous year, on July 17, 2017, in the Jordanian capital Amman.

"Despite this tragedy, Jordan remains a strategic partner", Barbee added.

In the letter, a copy of which was given to the AP, Moriarty listed several demands to Jordan. It said that all three had been following "established procedures for entering the gate".

Al-Tuwayha's defense lawyer intends to appeal the verdict.

Jordan had initially suggested that the USA troops had triggered the shooting by entering the gate with improper procedures, a claim refuted by the US and later withdrawn.


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