People

Jordanian Soldier Convicted of Killing 3 US Troops Gets Life Sentence

Jordanian Soldier Convicted of Killing 3 US Troops Gets Life Sentence

A Jordanian military court has convicted a soldier of killing three US military trainers in a shooting previous year.

Marik al-Tuwayha, who pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder, attacked the men as their vehicles approached al-Jafr airbase in November. They use Jordanian airfields to hit IS militant group positions in neighbouring Syria and help protect its borders.

US Embassy representatives who were present during the trial and judicial proceedings said they appreciated "the expedience and seriousness of the court proceedings" following the guilty verdict on Monday. The convicted was also fired from the military service, according to the court ruling.

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.

The accused with three counts of murder as well as insulting the reputation of the Jordanian armed forces and violating military orders.

Tawaiha had been in custody since November but denied the charges.

The court heard evidence from forensic experts and guards at the base.

Jordanian authorities initially said the trainers had been killed after they failed to stop.

Unmanned runaway speedboat slams into another vessel at 30mph injuring ten people
But the runaway boat struck a dock, changed direction and hit the rear of Carlile's patrol boat, disabling the DNR boat's engine. According to the DNR, Carlile was able to throw a rope from his patrol boat to entangle the propeller of the runaway boat.

At that moment, there was "a low sound of gunfire from a distant and unknown source".

Al-Twayha claimed he had opened fire because e feared the base was coming under attack.

However, relatives of the slain US 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.

It said he had disobeyed orders by failing to follow rules of engagement before opening fire.

Jordan initially tried to shift the blame to the U.S., saying the Americans triggered the shooting by disobeying entry rules, a claim that was later withdrawn.

The King Faisal air base hosts trainers of various nationalities including Americans.

Jordan hosts several hundred USA contractors in a military cooperation programme which includes the stationing of U.S. F-16 fighter jets. USA troops are training vetted, moderate Syrian opposition rebels to fight ISIS at facilities in Jordan and Turkey.


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