Jordan, (TFC)– Questions and suspicion now embody three deaths of US military operatives in Jordan. Now, decide for yourself which is sketchier. That the men were working for the CIA, or their alleged killer was a man in Jordanian uniform? Despite an ongoing government terrorism investigation, news is as discreet as their Jordanian mission.
According to the Washington Post, this represents the deadliest CIA-involved incident since 2009. Sources claim the men were ambushed while en route to a Jordanian military training facility.
Jordan’s status as an important regional ally deeply sensitizes the incident. It’s now confirmed that the Americans received fire from a Jordanian soldier, shortly after their convoy was allowed through a security gate. As of yet, FBI can’t rule out the possibility of a “mistake” having occurred. The Jordanian government is launching a parallel, independent inquiry.
Evidence gathered thus far from the scene only complicates the timeline. According to Washington Post, investigators claim they haven’t found strong evidence suggesting a deliberate attack. They do, however, believe the incident was set off by an American shot from inside the Humvee.
Officials claim “security was heightened”, after a series of events months before. Whereas Jordanian soldiers had been killed by a ISIS-affiliated suicide bomber, two American contractors were killed by a Jordanian police officer.
Those contractors, Guardian reports, were employed with DynCorp. Like many private military contracting companies, DynCorp was founded by a former special forces operative. The company has seen a major profit boom in Iraq due to the war against ISIS.
These most recent casualties–Staff Sergeant’s Matthew Lewellen, Kevin McEnroe, and James Moriarty–were allegedly employed with CIA. According to Washington Post, they were among 2000 other operatives in-country assisting various operations.
Staff Sgt. James Moriarty’s father, Jim Moriarty, refuses to accept the government’s explanation. “I haven’t gotten a straight answer yet”, he says, CBS News reports. US officials have claimed video of the incident shows Jordanian soldiers allowing the initial Humvee through the gate.
That particular base, CBS reports, was also reputedly housing Green Berets. Officials say when the first Humvee was attacked, its backup hopped out and fired. One more American was struck before the shooter was killed.
American officials initially seemed to suspect the killing wasn’t an accident. They’ve since retreated their statements, preferring a low implication narrative. Mr. Moriarty is undeterred, however, boldly suggesting the Jordanians lied about the shooter’s identity.
The three staff sergeant’s specific mission, it seems, was to train Syrian rebels for combat. Of course, CIA won’t comment as to whether the men were involved with a rebel training program. Several such projects have existed, and contributed their share of bodies. Obviously, it’s unclear if these men were involved in a known or unknown program.
One CIA program–Division 30–was compared to the failed Bay Of Pigs invasion. Fighters trained by the intelligence agency have also shot at those trained by the Pentagon. Such conflicts may stem from differing objectives of both agency’s.
According to Washington Post, unlike the Pentagon, CIA-trained fighters target both other rebels and Assad’s government. This invokes the haunting question of who those fighters are, their origin, and motivations. As mentioned numerous times before, many “moderate” rebels are actually hard line jihadists.
It’s a truth born out of necessity, due to the Assad regime’s barbaric bombing and military campaigns against civilian targets. Many forces which American citizens attach the word “moderate” to are largely wiped out.
Those experienced, battle-hardened fighters which remain may be just as bad, if not worse than ISIS. Islamic State fighters are themselves a “rebel group” battling Assad and other militias for regional control. Any fighting force engaging the Assad regime, in fact, are treated as rebel combatants.
Canadians are still unsatisfied with the quiet death of Canadian special forces Sgt. Joseph Dorion. Similar to the three staff sergeants, Dorion was killed by friendly forces. In that incident, however, Kurdish Peshmerga insisted they believed the Canadians were ISIS. Nothing other than battle fatigue was given as explanation by officials. The deaths of several other Americans in Iraq and Syria are just as locked down.
Thus, it becomes important to pay close attention to patterns. Escalation, troop surges, leaks, and other resources to put a picture together. As it pertains to Jordan, and the killing of three CIA rebel trainers, such attention to detail may prove key in coming days.