Jordan soldier jailed for life for killing USA trainers

Claudine Rigal
Juillet 17, 2017

AJordanian Military Court issued a guilty verdict against the Jordanian soldier who killed three American service members on November 4, 2016 at Al-Jafr airbase.

Tuwayha - who is not thought to have links to any militant groups - told the military court in the capital Amman he had opened fire after hearing gun shots.

The victims were 27-year-old Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen of Kirksville, Missouri; 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe of Tucson, Arizona; and 27-year-old Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty of Kerrville, Texas.

The U.S. Embassy said in a statement Monday that the trial "confirmed that the deceased U.S. service members followed all established procedures when accessing the base the day of the incident, as we have noted before".

In Jordan, life in prison can mean 20 years, with time off for good behavior.

His father Jim described the sentence as "only the first step" in a letter to the Jordanian embassy on Monday, the AP reported.

Jordan, a Middle East monarchy, is a key US ally, providing Washington with an area of operations that has relative stability and a strategic location that has allowed it to work toward its aims in the Syrian civil war and the fight against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), carrying out bombing raids from Jordanian airfields.

Jordan said after the incident previous year that the United States troops had disobeyed the orders of the Jordanian military at the gate of the base and triggered the shooting.

The Jordanian government said the police captain had been a troubled individual, but security sources said he was an IS supporter.

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