Middle East

Three Green Berets killed in Jordan attack identified

From left: Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty.

From left: Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty.  (U.S. Army)

The Pentagon on Sunday identified three Green Berets killed in a shooting outside a military base in Jordan.

The Defense Dept. reported 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 Friday after their convoy came under fire as it entered a Jordanian military base in Jafr.

The Defense Department is investigating.

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The soldiers were assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Lewellen's family said in a statement to The Kirksville Daily Express he was raised in Kirksville, Missouri, and was a "born leader, a true American." They said his military awards included the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal.

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Jordan is a key U.S. ally and member of a U.S-led military coalition fighting the Islamic State terror group, which controls parts of neighboring Iraq and Syria.

Shots were fired as a car carrying the Americans tried to enter the al-Jafr base at about noon local time on Friday, military officials in the U.S. and Jordan said.

A Jordanian officer was also wounded, Jordanian officials said. It was not clear what prompted the shooting.

Jordan faces a significant homegrown terror threat, with hundreds of Jordanians fighting alongside ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria and several thousand more supporting the extremist group in the kingdom.

Last November, a Jordanian police captain opened fire in an international police training facility, killing two Americans and three others. The government subsequently portrayed the police captain as troubled.

The United States has spent millions of dollars to help the kingdom fortify its borders.

Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.