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Jordan Charges Soldier With Murdering US Troops After Denying Responsibility

Jordan's King Abdullah and Spain's King Felipe review Bedouin honour guards at the Royal Palace in AmmanJordan's King Abdullah and Spain's King Felipe review Bedouin honour guards at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed.

Jordan has finally charged one of its soldiers with murdering three U.S. troops after Jordanian state media initially put the blame on the U.S. for not following proper procedures.

“He is being officially charged with murder with intent to kill,” a Jordanian official told CNN.

While this official did not name the guard in question, a previous CNN report listed him as Cpl. Ma’arik Al-Tawayha. Jordanian officials have referred to him in the past as M’aarek Abu Tayeh.

This soldier shot three U.S. Army special forces soldiers Nov. 4 at the King Faisal Air Base in Jordan, killing Army Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe in an instant and mortally wounding Staff Sgts. Matthew Lewellen and James Moriarty in a firefight. Both Lewellen and Moriarty tried to communicate with the guard in Arabic, but to no avail. He kept shooting.

Moriarty fired his pistol at Al-Tawayha, which gave another Green Beret the chance to take the guard down.

McEnroe, Lewellen and Moriarty were traveling in an unarmored vehicle without body armor. Moreover, they were only carrying sidearms.

Although Jordanian media immediately accused the U.S. of not following appropriate procedures while entering the base, a subsequent U.S. Special Operations Command investigation based on video footage found “no evidence that US forces failed to fully comply with Jordanian Base entrance procedures.”

Rather, the soldiers “demonstrated valorous conduct and extraordinary heroism” in the face of an out of control Jordanian guard armed with an M16 and body armor, who wounded the soldiers so badly that no medical care could have saved them.

In March, the families of the soldiers held an event in Washington, D.C., blasting the Jordanian government for blaming the Green Berets.

“We are told that Jordan is an important ally in the war on terror, a war which I support, but I encourage our president and our administration to take a hard look at our relationship with an ally who would so callously disrespect the sacrifice made by our boys,” Brian McEnroe said.

Lewellen’s parents told The Kansas City Star earlier this year they were upset that nothing was being done about the fact their son was murdered.

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