Collaborating Authors

US denounces UN report on Iran general's 'unlawful' killing

Al Jazeera

The United States lashed out on Wednesday at a United Nations probe into the American drone attack that killed a top Iranian general, saying it gave "a pass to terrorists". US President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Iran's General Qassem Soleimani in a January attack near Baghdad's international airport. The incident stoked fears of an all-out conflict between Iran and the US. The US air raid that killed Soleimani and others in his convoy was "unlawful" and an "arbitrary killing" that violated the UN charter, the UN expert on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, concluded in a report on Tuesday. She said the US provided no evidence "an imminent attack" against American interests was being planned and, therefore, its "self-defence" justification did not apply.

Death by drone: How can states justify targeted killings?

Al Jazeera

In a move that caused a ripple effect across the Middle East, Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad's international airport on January 3. On that day, the Pentagon announced the attack was carried out "at the direction of the president". In a new report examining the legality of armed drones and the Soleimani killing in particular, Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial and arbitrary killings, said the US raid that killed Soleimani was "unlawful". Callamard presented her report at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday. The United States, which is not a member after quitting the council in 2018, rejected the report saying it gave "a pass to terrorists". In Callamard's view, the consequences of targeted killings by armed drones have been neglected by states.

UN accuses Trump of breaking international law in Soleimani killing

FOX News

The Iranian general figured out how to harness both Shiite and Sunni radicalism against the United States, says Karim Sadjadpour, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A United Nations report concluded that President Trump violated international law by staging a drone strike on an airport in Baghdad that killed the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force, Gen. Qassem Soleimani. At the time of the Jan. 8 attack – carried out without the knowledge or consent of Congress or U.S. allies in the region – Trump claimed the ambush was necessary to avoid an imminent threat posed by Iran on U.S. interests. The U.N. said these vague claims were likely exaggerated and unsupported by evidence. "No evidence has been provided that Gen. Soleimani specifically was planning an imminent attack against U.S. interests, particularly in Iraq, for which immediate action was necessary and would have been justified," Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution, said in her report submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday.

Pompeo hits 'spurious' UN report that claims Soleimani's killing was unlawful

FOX News

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday pushed back against a U.N. report that claimed the U.S. strike that killed Islamic Republic Guard Corps Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani breached international law -- with Pompeo describing the conclusions as "spurious." The report was submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council by Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, and concluded that claims by the U.S. about the justification for the strike that killed the Iranian general were exaggerated and lacked evidence. Soleimani, the mastermind of Tehran's military and terror strategies abroad, was taken out in January by the U.S., which described his death as a defensive measure to prevent an "imminent attack" on U.S. interests after an attack on the embassy in Baghdad days earlier. "No evidence has been provided that Gen. Soleimani specifically was planning an imminent attack against U.S. interests, particularly in Iraq, for which immediate action was necessary and would have been justified," Callamard said. The report also accused the U.S. of "violating the territorial integrity of Iraq" and violated the U.N. Charter which "prohibits the threat or use of force and calls on all members to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of other states."

Qassem Soleimani strike violated international human rights law, UN official argues

FOX News

After a U.S. airstrike kills Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells'Fox & amp; Friends' that President Trump's decision was necessary to deter further aggression. The U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial killing on Friday said the President Trump-approved drone strike against Qassem Soleimani, Iran's top general, violated international human rights law. In a lengthy Twitter thread, Agnès Callamard said that "outside the context of active hostilities, the use of drones or other means for targeted killing is almost never likely to be legal," adding that the U.S. would need to prove the person targeted constituted an imminent threat to others. She also took issue with the justification for using drones in another country on the basis of self-defense. "Under customary international law States can take military action if the threatened attack is imminent, no other means would deflect it, and the action is proportionate," she wrote.