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Shooting that killed U.S. troops in Jordan possible terror attack

A shooting at the gate of a Jordanian air base earlier this month that left three American soldiers dead may have been an act of terrorism, the U.S. Embassy in Amman said Wednesday.

The Pentagon said two days after the November 4 shooting that 27-year-old Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, of Lawrence, Kansas; 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe of Tucson, Arizona; and 27-year-old Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty of Kerrville, Texas, died after the convoy they were in came under fire as it entered a Jordanian military base.

The U.S. troops were in Jordan as part of the American training mission working with the Jordanian military. They were assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) from Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

“The investigation into the November 4 shooting at Al-Jafr is ongoing and has not yet reached any conclusions. Investigators are considering all potential motives and reasons for why American service members came under fire and they have not yet ruled out terrorism as a potential motive,” embassy spokesman Eric Barbee said in a statement.

Jordanian officials told news outlets, including CBS News, on condition of anonymity soon after the shooting that the vehicle carrying the U.S. soldiers had failed to stop at the gate as ordered, leading to the Jordanian forces opening fire.

“Contrary to press reports, there has been absolutely no credible evidence to suggest that U.S. personnel acted contrary to orders or established procedures when accessing the base,” Barbee said in his statement. “We appreciate the assistance of the Government of Jordan as the investigation continues.”

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