Jordan Hands Life Sentence To Soldier Who Killed US Trainers

Channels Television  
Updated July 17, 2017

A Jordanian military court sentenced a soldier to life imprisonment with hard labour on Monday for killing three U.S. military trainers at the gate of a major air base last year, a judicial source said.

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

The incident in November had led to tensions between Washington and its Middle Eastern ally.

Jordanian authorities at first said the U.S. trainers had been shot dead by the soldier when their car failed to stop at the gate of the base. Washington rejected that account and said it could not rule out a political motive for the killings.

Jordan, a staunch U.S. ally, hosts several hundred U.S. contractors in a military cooperation programme which includes the stationing of U.S. F-16 fighter jets. They use Jordanian airfields to hit Islamic State positions in neighbouring Syria and to protect its borders.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Eric Barbee, said in a statement: “We are reassured to see the perpetrator brought to justice,” adding that Jordan “remains a strategic partner” despite this tragedy.