On Monday, Jordan’s military released security camera footage of an incident last November showing one of their soldiers gunning down three American Green Berets in cold blood as they entered a Jordanian airbase. The incident led to an unwanted revelation: the soldiers were part of a (no longer) covert mission to train Syrian rebels.

The attack took place at the entrance to al-Jafr base in southern Jordan on November 4, 2016.  The Green Berets were at the base to conduct secret training exercises for the Jordanian army. After a Jordanian soldier stationed at the entrance to the base opened the gate and waved the convoy of pickup trucks through, Jordanian Sgt. Marik al-Tuwayha, stationed further along the entrance, suddenly opened fire, immediately killing two Americans: Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, 27, and Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, 30.

Two American soldiers are seen in the video exiting their vehicles, taking cover behind concrete barriers and returning fire. A Jordanian soldier approaches and looks into the truck as the US soldiers wave and shout, indicating that they are friendly troops. Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty, 27, was killed in the exchange of gunfire. The entire incident took six minutes to play out.

Al-Tuwayha claimed he opened fire because he feared the base was under attack. In reaction to the attack, the Jordanian government initially blamed the US soldiers for violating entry procedures. Jordan’s military released a statement on Monday saying that Al-Tuwayha “had acted against orders and military instructions and had not acted in self-defense.” Last week, a Jordanian military court sentenced al-Tuwayha to life in prison with hard labor.

Al-Tuwayha’s influential tribe, the Howeitat, took to the streets in protest, claiming the harsh sentence was intended to placate the United States.

The incident led to a surprising revelation: the three soldiers were in Jordan training Syrian rebels as part of a covert program run by the C.I.A.

This is the second time a Jordanian in uniform has gone on a rogue killing spree. In November 2015, a Jordanian police captain and co-trainer shot dead two US civilians contractors, a South African and two Jordanian nationals at a US-funded security training facility near the capital city of Amman. The Jordanian officer was shot and killed in the ensuing gun battle.

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Source: Israel in the News