UN expert deems US drone strike that killed Iranian general Soleimani “unlawful”
UN: drone assassination of Soleimani is a violation of international law
The State Department condemned the findings of the UN investigation into the death of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani
An American drone attack in Baghdad airport in early January that killed Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani is a violation of international law, a UN report released Thursday said..
According to Agnes Callamard, a UN investigator, more than 100 countries have military drones, of which, presumably, more than ten use drones in combat operations, including the destruction of enemy personnel. Callamard notes that the uncontrolled proliferation of armed drones poses a threat to global security, and the assassination of Soleimani has increased the danger of international conflict. The United States carried out the attack without obtaining the prior consent of Iraq, thereby violating the territorial integrity of that country.
“This is an important and alarming event,” Callamard says, calling the operation to eliminate Soleimani “the first ever incident in which the state attacked a government official of another country outside of an armed conflict, explaining it as self-defense.
“There was no evidence that General Soleimani was planning an imminent attack on US interests, especially in Iraq, in which case immediate action would be necessary and could be justified,” the UN investigator said..
Days after the attack, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Soleimani “was planning a large-scale attack against American interests, and these attacks were inevitable.”.
Callamard says the argument used by the US – self-defense – was a turning point as several countries, including the UK and Turkey, supported the new US doctrine..
Speaking with VOA, Callamard expressed concern that more countries are likely to justify drone attacks by citing the war on terror.
“If I were in the place of a government or a member of the government that the US considers a terrorist, I would be very, very careful,” said Callamard.
The UN has provided its report on the incident to all countries mentioned in the document. US authorities did not respond, Callamard said..
Earlier this week, State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus accused the UN of “dishonesty” for issuing a report condemning the United States for self-defense and whitewashing “the infamous past of General Soleimani, one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world.”.