The fathers of three US Army Green Berets killed by Jordanian troops last year during a joint operation are demanding answers, claiming that their sons were murdered in cold blood.
Riding in an unarmored vehicle convoy and armed only with handguns, Special Forces Sergeant First Class Matthew Lewellen and Staff Sergeants Kevin McEnroe and James Moriarty were mortally wounded by rounds fired from the rifle of Jordanian Corporal Ma’arik Al-Tawayha (AKA M’areek Abu Tayeh) as the trio was stopped at the front gate of a military facility in November of last year.
Despite initial Jordanian media reports that the SF soldiers failed to comply with Jordanian base entry procedures, the US Special Operations Command investigation determined that the US soldiers -who were not wearing body armor- followed proper procedures prior to the shooting and “demonstrated valorous conduct and extraordinary heroism” in the face of not-so friendly fire.
“There is no evidence that US forces failed to fully comply with Jordanian Base entrance procedures,” the report said
While the Green Berets have been cleared of any wrongdoing, many family members of the slain say it just isn’t enough.
“Over four months have passed since our boys were murdered,” said SSG McEnroe’s father, Brian McEnroe. “None of our families has heard any apology, condolences or explanation from the Jordanians other than these false narratives – insulting false narratives. And in my mind, Jordan is, at the very least, guilty of complicity in the murder of these three American brave servicemen.”
In fact, McEnroe and fathers Charles Lewellen and James R. Moriarty said a video of the incident and subsequent forensics investigations performed by both by the FBI and the Army had made no mistakes in their final moments leading up to the incident, when Corporal Al-Tawayha sprayed them with M16 fire as they passed.
“There was no warning for my son, Sgt. First Class Lewellen or Staff Sgt. McEnroe,” Charles Lewellen said. “They were simply murdered by an ally officer of the Jordanian Army.”
Driving in other vehicles, Moriarty and one of his fellow SF troopers dismounted and took cover. Despite urging other Jordanian soldiers to call a cease-fire, the soldiers ignored them.
“Six more Jordanian gate guards then chose to do nothing to stop the assault,” Moriarty said. “Jimmy calls out in Arabic, ‘We are Americans. We are friends.”
The elder Moriarty was mortified by the senseless violence that unfolded on the recorded video footage of the incident.
“My son is seen on the video signaling,” he said. “And that’s how I watched my son die.”
The gunfire would last for 6 minutes, with Al-Tawayha opening fire a second time and killing Moriarty before the fourth Green Beret could take the Corporal out with a handgun.
According to Jordanian Ambassador to the United States Dina Kawar, Corporal Al-Tawayha was a 14-year veteran of the Jordanian military who had over a decade of joint operations experience with US forces and denied any “premeditated intentions.”
“The incident was a tragic accident devoid of any terrorist or holistic motives or premeditated act towards the friendly U.S. side,” Kawar said, offering condolences on behalf of Jordanians everywhere.
The fathers are not sold, however, and claim the changing narratives from the Jordanians -along with so many unanswered questions- is suspicious at best.
“I feel there was murder and he should be charged,” Moriarty said.
According to the Stars and Stripes, Moriarty has called upon the US to end foreign aid to Jordan in light of the incident.
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