Iraqi court orders Trump arrest over Soleimani drone strike

US President Trump ordered a drone strike that killed military leaders Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad last January.

A woman holds a placard depicting Iraqi militia commander al-Muhandis as people gather to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing [Khalid Al-Mousily/Reuters]

A Baghdad court has issued an arrest warrant for US President Donald Trump as part of its investigation into the killing of top Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis last year.

Al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilisation Forces in Iraq, was killed in the same US drone strike as top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.

The attack on their motorcade was ordered by Trump, who later boasted it had taken out “two for the price of one”.

The UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, has described the twin killings as “arbitrary” and “illegal”.

Iran already issued a warrant for Trump’s arrest in June and asked Interpol to relay it as a so-called red notice to other police forces around the world, a request that has so far gone unmet.

The court for east Baghdad issued the warrant for Trump’s arrest under Article 406 of the penal code, which provides for the death penalty in all cases of premeditated murder, the judiciary said.

The court said “the warrant was made after the judge recorded the statements of the personal claimants from the family of Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis”.

It added the preliminary inquiry had been completed but “investigations are continuing in order to unmask the other culprits in this crime, be they Iraqis or foreigners”.

In the run-up to Sunday’s anniversary of the killings, pro-Iran factions stepped up their rhetoric against Washington and Iraqi officials deemed to have colluded with it.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies