Jordanian soldier convicted of killing three Green Berets

Jordanian soldier convicted of killing three Green Berets
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A Jordanian solider was convicted Monday and sentenced to life in prison with hard labor for killing three American Green Berets last year, according to The Associated Press.

Jordanian 1st Sgt. Marik al-Tuwayha shot and killed Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Lewellen, 27; Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe, 30; and Staff Sgt. James Moriarty, 27, in November.

They were killed as their convoy waited at the gate to the al-Jafr base in southern Jordan.

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Jordan is a member of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and hosts a number of U.S. and other foreign troops supporting the fight.

During the trial, al-Tuwayha, who pleaded not guilty, said he opened fire because he feared the base was coming under attack, according to the AP.

“I have all the respect for the king, but I was doing my job,” he said as he was led out of the courtroom, according to the AP.

Jordan had originally said the Americans were at fault because they disobeyed orders, but the country later retracted that claim.

Family members of the Americans have described surveillance video of the incident shown to them by U.S. law enforcement but not publicly released, according to the AP.

They have said the video shows al-Tuwayha reloading and shooting at Americans who were waving their hands and yelling, “We’re Americans! We’re friendly,” the AP reported.

At the Pentagon, a spokesman told reporters the United States was "reassured" by the outcome of the trial.

"We respect the Jordanian legal process," Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said. "The Jordanian military court issued a guilty verdict against the Jordanian soldier who killed three American service members on Nov. 4 at al-Jafr Air Base. We are reassured to see that the perpetrator has been brought to justice."

Updated at 1:54 p.m.