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UN Expert: US Drone Strike on Iran’s Gen. Soleimani Violation of Intl. Law

TEHRAN: The January US drone strike in Iraq that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and nine other people represented a violation of international law, a UN human rights investigator said.
The United States has failed to provide sufficient evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the strike on Gen. Soleimani’s convoy as it left Baghdad airport, said Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The attack violated the UN Charter, Callamard 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 on Monday.

Callamard 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.

“Major General Soleimani was in charge of Iran military strategy, and actions, in Syria and Iraq. But absent an actual imminent threat to life, the course of action taken by the US was unlawful,” Callamard wrote in the report.

Iran retaliated with a rocket attack on an Iraqi airbase where US forces were stationed.

Iran has issued an arrest warrant for US President Donald Trump and 35 others over Gen. Soleimani’s assassination and has asked Interpol for help, Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on June 29.

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