Jordan: US military trainers killed near Jordan airbase

5th Nov 2016
Jordan: US military trainers killed near Jordan airbase

By Leith al-Juneidi

 

AMMAN/WASHINGTON (AA): Three U.S. military trainers were killed in a shooting Friday outside a military airbase in southern Jordan, the Pentagon said.

It was first reported by Petra News Agency, Jordan’s national outlet, that quoted a Jordanian military source who said two soldiers were killed while “trying to drive their vehicle into the Prince Faisal Airbase”, located in the Al-Jafr area in the southern Maan province.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook later released a statement raising the casualty number.

“We are working closely with the government of Jordan to determine exactly what happened,” Cook said.

But according to Petra, the driver of the vehicle failed to stop after receiving orders from guards manning the gate.

A Jordanian military officer and a third U.S. trainer were injured in the ensuing exchange of gunfire, the news agency reported, adding that an official investigation into the incident had been launched.

Two trainers died immediately and the third later in hospital.

After Petra initially reported the news, however, the news agency published a second version of the story that omitted the sentence about the U.S. trainers’ reported failure to comply with guards’ orders to stop.

A government source later told Anadolu Agency that the initial Petra report had only been “preliminary”.

Speaking anonymously due to restrictions on communicating with media, the source added that details of the shooting would not be available until thorough investigations had been carried out.

The White House said on Friday that it would work with Jordan to determine the circumstances around the shooting.

“We will certainly want to draw on the kind of cooperation that the U.S. has with Jordan to get to the bottom of what exactly happened,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters during a briefing.

In November 2015, a Jordanian army officer shot dead two U.S. government security contractors and a South African at a U.S.-funded police training facility near Amman before being gunned down.

The incident embarrassed Jordanian authorities, who did not publicly disclose the motive of the assassin. The gunman was later said by security sources to have been a sympathizer of the Islamic State militant group with strong anti-Western feelings.

 

 

AA Pentagon correspondent Kasim Ileri contributed to this story.

Additional news from Reuters
[Archive Photo of US troops. Photo by: Staff Sgt Crista Yazzie, US Army Public Affairs, Public Domain/ Wikimedia]

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