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US officials: Video shows 3 soldiers being shot outside Jordan base, raising questions

By TARA COPP | STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 18, 2016

WASHINGTON — Video footage of a shooting in Jordan that killed three U.S. soldiers has raised the possibility that it was a deliberate attack, U.S. officials said Friday.

Security camera footage of the Nov. 4 attack shows a lone Jordanian gunman at a checkpoint shooting at a convoy of Green Berets who were there to conduct training at King Faisal Air Base in al-Jafr. Several news outlets have reported the military personnel were working for the CIA in Jordan.

A U.S. official on the condition of anonymity confirmed the video shows the Jordanian waved the first vehicle through the checkpoint and then opened fire on and ultimately killed two of the Americans in the second vehicle, which was first reported by CBS. U.S. troops in a third vehicle returned fire and a third American was killed.

The U.S. official also confirmed the possibility that the Americans were specifically targeted. A second U.S. official said the investigation into the killings – including interviews with witnesses of the attack were not complete. The FBI is leading the investigation.

“We want to tell these families what it was and what it wasn’t, instead of what it looks like,” the second U.S. official said on the condition of anonymity.

Both U.S. officials said the Jordanian shooter survived the attack, but is in a medically induced coma at a Jordanian hospital.

One of the U.S. officials also said Special Operations Command – Central is conducting a separate “15-6” investigation that will provide a timeline and details of the incident. A 15-6 is an in-depth military investigation that determines whether there is a reason to charge any U.S. military personnel in relation to the incident. The 15-6 investigation is expected to be released after the FBI investigation is complete.

The Nov. 4 incident killed Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, 27, of Lawrence, Kan.; Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, 30, of Tucson, Ariz., and Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty, 27, of Kerrville, Texas. They were members of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

copp.tara@stripes.com
Twitter:@TaraCopp

 

The Pentagon has identified the three Special Forces soldiers supporting the anti-Islamic State coalition who died after their convoy came under fire on Friday while entering a military base in Jordan. From left to right: Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, 27; Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, 30; and Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty, 27.
U.S. ARMY

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