UN Expert Calls US Assassination of General Soleimani ’Unlawful Killing’
By Staff, Agencies
United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard said the United States’ assassination of top Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad was an “unlawful” killing in violation of the international law.
Callamard said on Monday that the US has failed to provide sufficient evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the January drone strike on General Soleimani's convoy as it left Baghdad airport.
“Absent an actual imminent threat to life, the course of action taken by the US was unlawful," Callamard wrote in a report.
The drone attack “violated the UN Charter”, she added, calling for accountability for targeted killings by armed drones and for greater regulation of the weapons.
"The world is at a critical time, and possible tipping point, when it comes to the use of drones. ... The Security Council is missing in action; the international community, willingly or not, stands largely silent," Callamard, an independent investigator, told Reuters.
The senior UN expert is due on Thursday to present her findings to the Human Rights Council, giving member states a chance to debate what action to pursue. The United States is not a member of the forum, having quit two years ago.
On January 3, the US assassinated General Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC] Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], and a group of their companions just as they left Baghdad Airport while on an official visit to the country.
Both commanders enjoyed deep reverence among Muslim nations over their endeavors in eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.
The operation was conducted with the authorization of US President Donald Trump.
Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining US President Donald Trump and several other US military and political leaders who were behind the assassination.
Prosecutors in Tehran say Trump, along with more than 30 others, was involved in the assassination, and accordingly face murder and terrorism charges.