A brief history of the "blue-on-green" attacks brought to mind by Jordanian shootout

Published November 12th, 2015 - 08:34 GMT
Mostly confined to Afghanistan, these attacks refer to when police or soldier trainees turn on American and NATO partners. (AFP/File)
Mostly confined to Afghanistan, these attacks refer to when police or soldier trainees turn on American and NATO partners. (AFP/File)

For many, Monday's shooting attack by Jordanian police officer Anwar Abu Zaid at the canteen of Jordan's International Police Training Center brought to mind the green-on-blue attacks that marked American presence in Afghanistan. 

Referring to incidents where police or soldier trainees turn their weapons on their US or NATO partners, this kind of attack has been almost exclusively confined to training centers and US bases in the country. 

The Taliban have at times claims responsibility as supposed proof of their infiltration in Afghanistan, where the 2001 fall of the hardline group's government and an omnipresence of international forces have boiled tensions among locals. Other times, incidences are simply attributed to personal disputes. 

Meanwhile, this is the first time such a case has shown up in Jordan. And while questions surrounding Abu Zaid's motives are still swarming, Monday's attack brings to light the potential dangers faced by US contractors outside Afghanistan.

Here is a brief timeline of the most notable "blue-on-green" attacks of the last few years. 

Mid 2014: The attack on Aug 5 at Afghanistan’s premier military academy on the outskirts of Kabul, when US Army Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene was slaughtered, along with 18 others was most notable of at least four green-on-blue attacks of 2014. Maj. Gen. Greene was the highest-ranking US officer to be killed in combat since 1970, during the Vietnam War.

Late 2014: Just as NATO’s now complete International Security Assistance Force mission was coming to a close, two American soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in Parwan province on Dec 13.

Early 2015: On Jan 1, the coalition launched its new mission in Afghanistan called Resolute Support and at the end of the month three US contractors, an Afghan man and the shooter himself were killed at military-run North Kabul International Airport complex. On the same day, in east Afghanistan, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive at a funeral of a roadside bomb attack, killing nine.

Mid 2015: Washington had just announced a delay in troop withdrawal, when on Apr 8 2015 a US soldier was killed and at least two others were injured in Jalalabad, east Afghanistan.

Late 2015: The most recent green-on-blue attack took place in the volatile province of Helmand, in the country’s south, killing two NATO soldiers in on Aug 26.

By Liza Tarbell, Alisa Reznick


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