Jordan soldier who killed U.S. trainers jailed for life

Jordan soldier who killed U.S. trainers jailed for life

Moriarty and two other members of the 1st Special Forces Command were killed during an attack outside a military base in Jordan on November 4, 2016.

A military court in Jordan has sentenced a soldier to life in prison with hard labor for killing three USA military trainers at the gate of an air base in the south of the Arab country. Jordan's military later withdrew the claim and supported charges against Tuwayha. Ma'arik Al-Tawayha for killing the three service members.

Some of the relatives have questioned why the video was not screened at the trial and why the court did not ask a surviving USA soldier to testify, despite what they said was his willingness to do so.

Monday's verdict is still subject to appeal, his lawyer Sobhi al-Mawas told Anadolu Agency. "We are reassured to see the perpetrator brought to justice". The conviction was made in the presence of the families of the victims.

"Despite this tragedy, Jordan remains a strategic partner", Barbee added.

The U.S. troops, who were acting as military trainers, were shot as their convoy entered the al-Jafr base in the south of Jordan.

Jordanian authorities initially said that the USA trainers were shot because they did not stop their auto as they drove into the gate, however, the United States disputed that claim and the Jordanian government later changed its position. But US officials disputed this and a subsequent US military investigation found surveillance footage of the event. A crime scene investigator said that each of the three vehicles carrying American soldiers was hit.

But the United States embassy said the trial had confirmed Staff Sgt Matthew Lewellen, Staff Sgt Kevin McEnroe and Staff Sgt James Moriarty "had been following procedure" when they were killed, according to the Associated Press news agency. The third man, Staff Sgt. James Moriarty, suffered a mortal wound after firing his pistol at the Jordanian guard.

All three were US Army Green Berets.

Jordan is a key USA ally in the region.

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the blame to the USA, saying the Americans triggered the shooting by disobeying entry rules, a claim that was later withdrawn.