Iraq Follows Iran In Issuing Arrest Warrant For Trump Over ‘Premeditated Murder’
Iraq has followed Iran in issuing an arrest warrant for President Donald Trump over the ‘premeditated murder’ of Major General Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Soleimani and Al-Muhandis were killed by a missile fired from a USAF MQ-9 Reaper aircraft as their motorcade pulled out of Baghdad airport.
President Trump had ordered the US drone strike of January 3, 2020, with the Pentagon claiming in a statement that Soleimani had been ‘actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region’, which justified ‘decisive defensive action’.
However, the drone strike went on to spark outrage across the world. Iran has twice pushed for arrest warrants for Trump and 47 other officials connected with the strike, asking Interpol for assitance in detaining them.
Now, Iraq has followed suit; a court in the Iraqi capital of Baghadad has issued a warrant for Trump’s arrest under Article 406 of the country’s penal code. He stands accused of premeditated murder, the same charge announced by Iranian officials back in June.
In a statement, Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Court said that the decision to issue the warrant ‘was made after the judge recorded the statements of the claimants from the family of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis’.
As per The Independent the court has stated that a preliminary inquiry will have to be carried out, while ‘investigations are continuing in order to unmask the other culprits in this crime, be they Iraqis or foreigners’. An investigation into the deaths is reported to be still ongoing.
As per an article from The New York Times published shortly after his death, Al-Muhandis had been a powerful Iraqi militia leader who was known as one of Iran’s top lieutenants in Iraq as well as a veteran of battles fought against the US and the Islamic State.
The deputy commander of a coalition of militias, Al-Muhandis headed a disparate military force that rose up to help Iraq defeat the Islamic State – a force that has increased in power since.
He was known to be the right-hand man to Soleimani, who had been Iran’s top general and the leader of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Agnes Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, has deemed the deaths of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis to be in breach of international law.
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CreditsThe Independent and 1 other
The New York Times