A military court in Jordan has sentenced a soldier to life in prison with hard labor for killing three US military trainers at the gate of an air base in the south of the Arab country.
The three US Army Green Berets were killed on November 4, as their convoy came under fire while they were entering an air base south of the country.
The defendant, 1st Sgt. Marik al-Tuwayha, had pleaded “not guilty,” saying he opened fire because he feared the base was coming under attack.
“I have all the respect for the king, but I was doing my job,” Tuwayha said as he was led out of the courtroom.
The parents of one of the slain US troops and the father and sister of another were present during Monday’s session.
Jordan said after the incident last year that the US troops had disobeyed the orders of the Jordanian military at the gate of the base and triggered the shooting. Officials then withdrew the claims under pressure from Washington, which maintained that terrorism could be an issue. Relatives of the slain US soldiers also had criticized Jordan’s handling of the case.
Jordan is a close ally of the United States and has been participating in coalition airstrikes purportedly against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Iraq and Syria. Amman has insisted, however, that several attacks carried out in the country over the past years had no links to terrorists and that the attackers were lone wolves with personal problems.