A UN expert concludes that the selective assassination of the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by the United States was “illegal” and criticizes the worldwide silence on the matter.
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The United States has accused a UN expert of “giving a pass to terrorists” after she concluded that a U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and nine other people in Iraq early this year was “unlawful.”
Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, presented her findings on July 9 to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
In a report released earlier this week, Callamard said the United States had provided no specific evidence that showed Soleimani was planning an imminent attack against U.S. interests, particularly in Iraq, for which immediate action was necessary and would have been justified.
Therefore, the January 3 U.S. drone strike near Baghdad’s airport in which Soleimani was killed constituted an “arbitrary killing” for which the United States is responsible under international human rights law, she wrote.
In retaliation for the assassination of Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), an Iranian ballistic-missile strike on January 8 targeted U.S. bases in Iraq housing U.S. forces, leaving some 110 U.S. troops suffering from traumatic brain injuries.
According to Callamard, Iran’s retaliatory strikes were also unlawful.
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump justified Soleimani’s killing by saying he was responsible for orchestrating attacks on U.S. forces for years and in the process of planning further attacks on Americans and U.S. allies in the region.