Official confirms three US troops killed in Jordan shooting
Three US troops have been killed in a shooting at the gate of a military base in southern Jordan, says a US official.
“A total of three US service members died today (Friday) in the incident in Jordan,” said the official, whose name was not mentioned in news reports.
“Initial reports were that one was killed, two injured. The two injured service members were transported to a hospital in Amman, where they died,” the official added.
A Jordanian military source said the incident took place as a vehicle transporting the troops, who the source said were instructors, failed to stop at the gate of the al-Jafr base.
“There was an exchange of fire at the entrance to the base after an attempt by the trainers’ vehicle to enter the gate without heeding orders of the guards to stop,” the source said.
The incident also left a Jordanian army officer wounded.
The US embassy in Jordan confirmed the shooting.
“We have reports of a security incident involving American personnel and we are in contact with Jordanian officials who are giving us all the support,” the embassy said in a statement.
The incident comes about a year after a Jordanian police officer shot dead two US government contractors, a South African trainer and two Jordanians at a US-funded police training facility near Amman, the capital of Jordan, before being killed in a shootout.
A US official said at the time that the two Americans killed on November 9, 2015, were working with the US Department of State’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau and were responsible for training Palestinian forces.
Jordan is a key ally of the United States in the Middle East as well as an active part of the so-called US-led coalition against the Daesh Takfiri terror group. The US uses Jordanian airfields to station warplanes for its campaign in Syria.
The United States and its allies have been conducting airstrikes against purported positions of Daesh inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate since September 2014.
Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria in 2011, hundreds of Jordanians have reportedly joined terrorist groups operating against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Jordan also hosts hundreds of American military personnel as part of a program to allegedly reinforce the kingdom’s defense.
The United States has also trained militants in Jordan for operations in Syria.