Three American service members have been killed in a “green-on-blue” ambush attack outside a Jordan military training facility.
“The service members were in vehicles approaching the gate of a Jordanian military training facility, where they came under small arms fire. Initial reports were that one was killed, two injured. The two injured service members were transported to a hospital in Amman, where they died,” said a U.S. official in Washington, as quoted by AFP.
The official added that American authorities are working with the Jordanian government to “gather additional details about what happened.”
“We have received reports about a security incident involving US personnel. We are in contact with the appropriate Jordanian authorities, who have offered their full support. We will report more information when available and appropriate,” said a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Amman.
The Jordanian military’s statement, however, made the incident sound more like a tragic misunderstanding than a green-on-blue terrorist attack.
In fact, the Jordanians implied the American soldiers were responsible for the incident, in which a Jordanian officer was also reportedly wounded: “An exchange of fire occurred Friday morning at the gate of the Prince Feisal Air Base in Al-Jafr when a car carrying trainers attempted to enter the gate without heeding the guards’ orders to stop.”
The U.S. official quoted by AFP conceded that “we can’t say for the moment if it was a deliberate act” or “some kind of misunderstanding.”
AFP recalls that almost a year ago, a Jordanian policeman shot two American instructors, along with a South African and two Jordanians, in a green-on-blue attack at a police training center near Amman. The Al-Jafr airbase provides similar international instruction.
The New York Times reports that weapons stolen by Jordanian intelligence operators and sold on the black market were involved in last year’s police training center attack. The Times worries that Friday’s shooting “could unsettle relations between Jordan and the United States for the near term.”