Jordanian Soldier Sentenced To Life Of Hard Labor After Killing Green Berets
Jul 18 2017
He claimed that he had friendly relations with the USA soldiers, and no reason to kill them.
A Jordanian military court sentenced a soldier to life imprisonment with hard labor on Monday for the fatal shooting of three U.S. Green Berets in November of previous year, local media reported. "We are reassured to see the perpetrator brought to justice".
Jordanian authorities initially said that the USA trainers were shot because they did not stop their vehicle as they drove into the gate, however, the United States disputed that claim and the Jordanian government later changed its position.
Along with the prison sentence, the military judge, Col. Mohammed al-Afeef, ordered that Sergeant Tawayha be dismissed from the Army and that he pay 91 Jordanian dinars (about $128) for the bullets used to fire on the soldiers.
Al-Tuwayha's defense lawyer intends to appeal the verdict. The conviction was made in the presence of the families of the victims.
The defendant has said he felt no animosity toward Americans and opened fire because he believed the base was coming under attack.
A Jordanian soldier was also wounded in the shooting.
Jordan and the US are close allies, and the incident added strain to the relationship. But US officials disputed this and a subsequent US military investigation found surveillance footage of the event.
The Americans were killed November 4, as their convoy waited at the gate to the al-Jafr base in southern Jordan. It was unclear why other Jordanian guards did not stop Abu Tayeh. The third man, Staff Sgt. James Moriarty, suffered a mortal wound after firing his pistol at the Jordanian guard.
A six-minute hunt followed with Abu Tayeh stalking Moriarty and another Green Beret, according to the Special Operations Command's report. Over the years the two countries have increased military collaboration with the USA deploying Patriot missile systems to the country to bolster defense as the violence from the Syrian civil war has spread. USA troops are training vetted, moderate Syrian opposition rebels to fight ISIS at facilities in Jordan and Turkey.
Jordan, a Middle East monarchy, is a key USA 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.