VIDEO: Jordanian soldier shoots dead three US military trainers
AMMAN: Security camera footage has been released by the Jordan’s military in which a Jordanian soldier killed three US military trainers at an air base in the kingdom.
The video had previously been shown to the families of the US Army Green Berets by US law enforcement but had not been made public until yesterday.
The footage shows the US convoy coming under fire at the entrance to the base. The video has no sound, but puffs of white-grey smoke indicate gunfire.
Jordanian authorities at first said the U.S. trainers were shot because they failed to stop their car as they drove up to the gate of a large air base, adds Reuters.
But the Metro UK quoting Jordan authorities as initially saying the Americans triggered the shooting by disobeying entry rules, but the claim was later withdrawn.
Washington rejected that account and said it could not rule out a political motive for the killings, which occurred in November.
After the head of the military court read the verdict the soldier shouted: “I only did my duty!”
A Jordanian military court sentenced the soldier, 1st Sgt Marik al-Tuwayha, to life in prison with hard labour last week.
Jordan hosts several hundred U.S. contractors in a military cooperation program which includes the stationing of U.S. F-16 fighter jets. They use Jordanian airfields to hit Islamic State positions in neighboring Syria and help protect its borders.
The victims of the shooting were Staff Sgt Matthew C Lewellen, 27, of Kirksville, Missouri; Staff Sgt Kevin J McEnroe, 30, of Tucson, Arizona; and Staff Sgt James F Moriarty, 27, of Kerrville, Texas.
The defendant had said he opened fire because he feared the base was coming under attack and that he had acted in line with open-fire regulations.
Jordan’s military said in a statement Monday that the soldier ‘had acted against orders and military instructions and had not acted in self-defence.’