United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Agnes Callamard, has ruled the January 3 US drone strike that killed Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and eight others in Baghdad, was “unlawful” and in violation of humanitarian law and the UN Charter.
Callamard, a notable human rights activist, rejected US claims that Qassem Soleimani was an imminent threat to the lives of US citizens, stating that “Absent an actual imminent threat to life, the course of action taken by the US was unlawful.”
The Special Rapporteur also denounced international inaction in the face of illegal extrajudicial murders and violations of international law.
“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.”
Qassem Soleimani was the leader of the elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, while Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was leading figure on the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Units. Both commanders were leading figures in the war against terrorist organisation Daesh, and played a crucial role in he defeat of the Wahhabi terror groups in both Iraq and Syria.
Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, had earlier called the assassinations the “US’ biggest gift to takfiri terrorists and their allies.”
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