İrem UZUN -TDO- The U.S. drone strike that killed Iran's top general Qassem Soleimani was "unlawful", the United Nations expert on extrajudicial killings concluded in a report. "In light of the evidence that the U.S. has provided to date, the targeting of General Soleimani, and the deaths of those accompanying him, constitute an arbitrary killing for which, under IHRL (international human rights law) the U.S. is responsible," said Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, in her report published on Tuesday.
The United States has failed to provide sufficient evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the strike on Soleimani’s convoy as it left Baghdad airport, Callamard said. The attack violated the UN Charter, she wrote in a report 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 told Reuters.
Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, was a pivotal figure in orchestrating Iran's campaign to drive U.S. forces out of Iraq and built up Iran's network of proxy armies across the Middle East. The Quds Force is known for supplying weapons and training to groups and insurgents in Iraq, including Kataib Hezbollah. Soleimani was assassinated in a targeted U.S. drone strike on 3 January 2020 in Baghdad, which was approved by President Donald Trump. Iran has issued an arrest warrant for President Trump and 35 others over Soleimani’s killing and has asked Interpol for assistance, Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said last month.