The incident happened this morning at a gate of the King Faisal Air Base which is in southern Jordan at Al Jafr. Early reports claimed that one American had been killed and two wounded.
Later reports indicate that three US military trainers were shot and killed. One of the trainers died on the spot whereas the others died later after being transported to King Hussein hospital with critical wounds according to an anonymous US official. No official statement had yet been made as of this writing. A Jordanian soldier was injured in the shooting.
While there is still some doubt about what exactly happened according to Jordanian media the Americans were shot when they failed to stop at a gate at the airbase and there had been "mutual fire". An anonymous US official said: “The service members were in vehicles approaching the gate of a Jordanian military training facility, where they came under small-arms fire. We are working with the Jordanian government to gather additional details about what happened.”
Jordan is a key US ally in the MIddle East. It is a member of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. It also has a few special forces in Libya. US forces have been training a vetted Syrian rebels in Jordan as well as Iraqi and Palestinian security forces.
Almost a year ago a Jordanian policeman shot and killed two US instructors as well as a South African and 2 Jordanians at a police training center east of Amman. The two Americans worked for the private firm DynCorp. The Jordanian government said the police captain, who was gunned down and killed, had been a troubled individual. However security sources say he was a supporter of the Islamic State.
The US decided last year to increase aid to Jordan from $660 million to $1 billion a year for the period from 2015-2017. Instructors of various nationalities including Americans provide military training to troops from various countries.
AFP news agency quoted a US defence official as claiming that it was a "green on blue" incident, or a case when friendly forces attack US personnel. However the official said: "But we can't say for the moment if it was a deliberate" act to kill US personnel or "some kind of misunderstanding."
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Ken is a retired philosophy professor living in the boondocks of Manitoba, Canada, with his Filipina wife. He enjoys reading the news and writing articles. Politically Ken is on the far left of the political spectrum on many issues.