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Jordan soldier gets life for killing United States troops

Jordan soldier gets life for killing United States troops

A military court in Jordan has convicted a Jordanian soldier in the shooting deaths of three USA military trainers at the gate of an air base.

A relative of al-Tuwayha said the defendant, like other members of his clan, are loyal to God, king and country.

The parents of one of the slain U.S. troops and the father and sister of another were present during Monday's session.

Several had previously criticized Jordan's handling of the case and said the maximum possible sentence of life in prison was not severe enough, calling for the death penalty.

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The shooting happened in November at the gates of a Jordanian military base. Jordan initially said the Americans triggered the shooting by disobeying entry rules, a claim that was later withdrawn.

The bereaved families previously said that according to the surveillance footage, shown to them by USA law enforcement, the shooting lasted for six minutes. "We are reassured to see the perpetrator brought to justice".

The three victims were Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, 27, of Lawrence, Kansas Staff; Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, 30, of Tucson, Arizona; and Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty, 27, of Kerrville, Texas.

Jordan is a close ally of the United States and has been participating in coalition airstrikes purportedly against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

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Jordan and the US are close allies, and the incident added strain to the relationship.

Mohammed al-Afif, the judge presiding over the case said earlier this month that Tuwayha "had no relation to any terror groups or extremist groups, and he did not have an extremist ideology".

The defendant and some of the gate guards testified that they heard what might have been a pistol shot coming from the direction of the USA convoy. The defendant said he opened fire because he feared the base was coming under attack.

The defendant and some of the gate guards testified that they heard what might have been a pistol shot coming from the direction of the USA convoy.

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However, security camera footage of the incident, as described by the bereaved relatives, shows the shooting lasted for six minutes. They said the footage showed that the shooting lasted six minutes and that the video shows the defendant reloading his weapon and continuing to shoot as the USA service members waived their hands and yelled: "We're Americans!"


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