Jordanian Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing 3 US Soldiers


Jordanian Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing 3 US Soldiers

A Jordanian soldier was convicted Monday in the slaying of three USA military trainers previous year and sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor, Jordan's official news agency said.

The military court in Amman found 39-year-old Maarik al-Tawaiha guilty of shooting the trainers as they waited to enter the King Faisal base at Al-Jafr in southern Jordan on November 4. 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!"

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

Moriarty got off one shot at Abu Tayeh before the Jordanian approached him and shot him twice, but his actions, the report said, "enabled the remaining soldier to maneuver and engage" Abu Tayeh, wounding him in the neck.

However, relatives of the slain U.S. 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.

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.

He was sentenced to "hard labour for life", a term which lasts 20 years but could extend to life in jail, a judicial official told AFP.

The Green Berets, who were in Jordan on a training mission, had been traveling in an unarmored vehicle without body armor and carrying only sidearms because of the lack of perceived threat and the country's status as an American ally.

Jordanian soldier who shot three U.S. military trainers last November sentenced to life imprisonment.

Sergeant Tawayha said at his trial that he did not resent the American presence at the base.

The US soldiers' family members were in court to hear the verdict on Monday. They yelled that they were friendly forces, the relatives said.

The video was shown to the family by USA law enforcement, but has not been released to the public.

At the start of the trial, the military court Judge Colonel Mohammed al-Afeef said the defendant had no known ties to jihadist organizations.

Jordan had initially suggested that the USA troops had triggered the shooting by entering the gate with improper procedures, a claim refuted by the US and later withdrawn.

Defence lawyer Subhi al-Mawas said he would appeal Monday's court ruling.



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