The father of a U.S. Army Green Beret who was among three Berets gunned down by a Jordanian soldier last year, spoke to the media after Jordan released a video of the killing and sentenced the shooter to life.
The father expressed a belief that the Jordanian government wasn’t telling the whole story on why the shooting happened.
Brian McEnroe’s son Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe, 30, was killed by a Jordanian air force security guard on Nov. 4, 2016, as McEnroe and other U.S. Special Forces soldiers were entering King Faisal Air Base in Jordan. Two other Green Berets died in the attack, Staff Sgt. Matthew Lewellen, 27, and Staff Sgt. James Moriarty, 27.
The shooter, 1st Sgt. Marik al-Tuwayha, said the Americans failed to stop at the gate and he opened fire because he thought the base was under attack. The Jordanian government initially sided with al-Tuwayha and said the Americans failed to follow protocol.
Eventually, however, the government reversed its course and, on July 17, sentenced al-Tuwayha to life in prison for premeditated murder.
Al-Tuwayha’s tribe, Howeitat, protested the verdict, saying it served to appease the United States.
On July 24, Jordan released security camera footage of the shooting, showing the Green Berets waving their hands over their heads, signalling they were friendlies. Despite that, al-Tuwayha continued to fire at them with an assault rifle, even chasing them down when the soldiers retreated. Finally, one of the Americans managed to subdue al-Tuwayha, the video appears to show.
Be advised that the following video may be disturbing.
Yet, there’s no apparent motive for al-Tuwayha’s actions. He said he was only doing his job and doesn’t resent the American troops at the base.
McEnroe wasn’t satisfied with the official story.
“I don’t believe they’re being forthcoming about everything that happened,” he told Fox News on July 26. “Why did they have to lie and place blame and slander the honor of U.S. soldiers?”
“I honestly believe that he [the shooter] was not operating on his own,” he said. “I believe that Jordan is covering something up and I will always believe that. Whatever that is, we may never know.”
McEnroe said his son was shot in the head from 5 feet to 6 feet away, “This was an assassination—it wasn’t a gunfight,” he said.
“The assertion that he [al-Tuwayha] thought they were under attack was absurd,” he said. “All the Jordanians at the gate area knew who was coming back. There was only one gate at that air base … the same crew that was there when the shooting happened was the same crew there at 8 a.m. when our guys left the base.”
Jordan is a strategic partner to the United States, which partly operates an air base in the country and uses it to launch airstrikes against the ISIS terrorist group in Syria. The United States also maintains at least hundreds of troops in Jordan to train Syrian rebels fighting ISIS and opposing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The Pentagon stated that, despite the attack on American soldiers, Jordan remains a strategic partner.