Iraq issues arrest warrant for Donald Trump over Qassim Suleimani killing

Iraq issues arrest warrant for Donald Trump over Qassim Suleimani killing

Under penalty of death if ultimately tried and convicted, an Iraqi court Thursday issued an arrest warrant for U.S. President Donald Trump for ordering the assassination by drone strike at the Baghdad International Airport of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi military commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in January of past year.

The judge issued the warrant after hearing the complaints of al-Muhandis' family members and the completion of the preliminary investigation procedures, the statement said.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq's largely pro-Iran Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary network, died in the same USA drone strike that killed storied Iranian general Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad airport on Jan 3 a year ago. Soleimani led the Quds force of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Tehran has gathered detailed information regarding the execution of Gen Soleimani and last week implicated the German military and British-based security privateer G4S, which manages Baghdad airport, in the assassination.

Muhandis oversaw the Popular Mobilization Forces, a collective of largely Shiite Muslim militias that rose up in response to the rise of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).

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The drone strike and subsequent deaths triggered major tension between the USA and Iraq.

The arrest warrant issued is for a charge of premeditated murder which carries the death penalty, however it is most unlikely this will be carried out.

Agnes Calmart, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Illegal, Abbreviated or Arbitrary Executions, said the killing was considered a violation of worldwide law.

On Tuesday Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili announced that Iran had again requested Interpol issue a "red notice" for Mr Trump's arrest.

Iran-backed groups have since stepped up attacks against the American presence in Iraq, leading to threats by Washington to shutter its Baghdad diplomatic mission.

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