Jordan soldier who killed US trainers jailed for life

Jordanian soldier gets life for killing US troops

Jordanian soldier gets life for killing US troops

A Jordanian military court on Monday slapped a soldier, who had killed three American trainers a year ago, with a life sentence.

The victims were 27-year-old Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen of Kirksville, Missouri; 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe of Tucson, Arizona; and 27-year-old Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty of Kerrville, Texas.

The soldier had been charged with premeditated murder and had pleaded not guilty, the source said.

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As he was led out of the courtroom, 1st Sgt. Marik al-Tuwayha said: "I have all the respect for the king, but I was doing my job".

Jordan, a staunch USA ally, hosts several hundred US contractors in a military cooperation programme which includes the stationing of U.S. F-16 fighter jets.

The shooting happened in November at the gates of a Jordanian military base.

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Jordan had initially said that the Americans had not followed the correct protocols when entering the base, but Amman later withdrew this claim.

The US soldiers' family members were in court to hear the verdict on Monday.

Jordan is a member of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group (IS) in Syria and Iraq, and USA forces have trained a small group of Syrian rebels in Jordan, as well as Iraqi and Palestinian security forces.

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