Jordanian Soldier Who Killed Three Green Berets Gets Life Sentence

Jordan soldier jailed for life for killing US trainers

Life Sentence for Jordan Soldier In Killing of US Troops

A Jordanian soldier who killed three United States military trainers previous year was sentenced to life in prison by a military court.

The murder of the three troops, who were working for the CIA, represented the deadliest attack on an agency unit since a suicide bombing in Afghanistan killed seven US personnel in 2009.

The court indicated that the soldier violated the military orders as he did not report the incident to the higher commands as the shootout broke out at the military base in Al Jafer.

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

Subsequently, Charles Lewellen, one of the bereaved fathers, said the verdict "won't take the pain away", but that it proved "what we have been saying all along. that he murdered our sons".

In its ruling, the court said the incident had happened when vehicles carrying the trainers approached the gate of the base. Officials then withdrew the claims under pressure from Washington, which maintained that terrorism could be an issue.

Jordan, a Middle East monarchy, is a key USA 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. Amman has insisted, however, that several attacks carried out in the country over the past years had no links to terrorists and that the attackers were lone wolves with personal problems.

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.

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

Jordan and the US are close allies, and the incident added strain to the relationship. About 2,000 US troops are in Jordan.

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.

Tuwayha pleaded not guilty to the murder charges, and testified that he opened fire because he thought the base was under attack.

Al-Tuwayha has said he had "no intention of killing anyone" and felt no resentment towards Americans.

Cynthia Lewellen, 53, the mother of Matthew Lewellen, expressed sympathy for all those affected by the shooting, including the family of the defendant.

Earlier this year, a Jordanian soldier who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in a 1997 shooting rampage was released after 20 years.

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