A Jordanian military guard mercilessly killed three U.S. Army Green Berets last year, even as they were holding their hands up in surrender, a newly released video reveals.
The footage contradicts the Jordanian military’s original account of the November incident that the American troops didn’t follow proper protocol and procedures when trying to enter the military base, Fox News reported.
The graphic video depicts the violent Nov. 4 encounter at King Faisal Air Base in southern Jordan that led to the deaths of Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, 27, of Kirksville, Missouri; Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, 30, of Tucson, Arizona; and Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty, 27, of Kerrville, Texas. The footage was shown to the families of the U.S. Army Green Berets before it was released to the public.
(Content warning: Disturbing video):
During the six-minute encounter, Jordanian 1st Sgt. Marik al-Tuwayha can be seen firing toward a four-vehicle U.S. convoy. He continued to fire even though the American soldiers were frantically waving their hands in surrender.
Two of the U.S. service members exit their vehicles at one point and run for cover behind a nearby barrier. But eventually, al-Tuwayha makes his way to them and executes them. Only one of the soldiers involved in the assault survived, according to Fox News.
U.S. military spokesman Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway said the Pentagon was aware of the video’s release and referred all questions about the issue to the Jordanian government.
“The Department of Defense respects the Jordanian judicial process and supports their efforts toward transparency and openness regarding this incident,” he said.
Jordanian officials originally blamed the U.S. troops for breaking protocol when trying to enter the military base, but an investigation later determined the soldiers “were acting in compliance with all procedures and accepted practices,” according to a statement from a U.S. Special Operations Command in March.
The Green Berets were in al-Jafar to help train Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State.
Eventually, Jordan charged al-Tuwayha with premeditated murder. For his part, the guard has repeatedly argued he was in accordance with open-fire regulations, claiming in his testimony that he heard gunfire first and feared the base was under attack.
Last week, al-Tuwayha was sentenced to life in prison with hard labor, The Los Angeles Times reported. Protests erupted in Jordan after the verdict was read, with demonstrators demanding King Abdullah II set al-Tuwayha free.
The Jordanian government reportedly decided to release the video, which has no sound, in hopes of tamping down the support in the Middle Eastern country for the Green Berets’ killer.