Jordanian soldier who killed USA trainers jailed for life

Jordanian soldier who shot three US military trainers last November sentenced to life imprisonment

A Jordanian soldier was sentenced in the killing of USA troops Monday, getting life in prison after being convicted of killing three US military trainers past year, but some said questions lingered about his motive for the shooting at a Jordanian air base.

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.

On Monday, a Jordanian Military Court issued a guilty verdict against Cpl.

Despite the conviction some relatives criticized Jordan's handling of the case and are disappointed al-Tuwayha didn't receive the death penalty, saying the maximum sentence in this case, life in prison, was not enough.

Witnesses to the November 4 incident said that a four-car convoy was entering the base when Jordanian guards heard a low sound and thought it might be a pistol shot.

Al-Tuwayha has said he had "no intention of killing anyone" and felt no resentment towards Americans.

Initially Jordanian state media blamed the incident on the USA soldiers' failure to adhere to proper procedures at the base's entrance.

This is not the first time a U.S. trainer has been killed in Jordan.

"We are reassured to see the perpetrator brought to justice", Eric Barbee, the US Embassy spokesman in Amman, told CNN.

In November 2015, a Jordanian police captain opened fire at a police training centre near the capital Amman, killing two Americans, a South African and two Jordanians.

"Despite this tragedy, Jordan remains a strategic partner", the embassy added.

USA forces have trained a small group of vetted Syrian rebels in Jordan, and American instructors have also trained Palestinian security forces inside the kingdom. These included allowing the defendant to be re-interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his motive and releasing the security video to the families.

Cynthia Lewellen, 53, the mother of Matthew Lewellen, expressed sympathy for all those affected by the shooting, including the family of the defendant.

Staff Sgt Moriarty's family had already expressed dismay at the prospect of a life sentence for Tuwayha, which is likely to be reduced to 20 years with good behaviour.

Defense attorney Subhi al-Mawas said he would appeal the sentence.



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