An Iraqi court has issued an arrest warrant on Thursday against the outgoing president of the United States of America Donald Trump on charges of the premeditated murder of a powerful Iraqi militia leader and an Iranian general. The warrant has been issued against article 406 of the penal code which provides for the death penalty in cases of premeditated murder. Last year, in January, Abu Mahdi, al-Muhandis, and General Qassim Soleimani were killed in a drone strike directed by the United States at the International Airport of Baghdad. The warrant was issued by an investigative court in Baghdad which was probing the US-directed drone strike. Besides Iraq, Iran had also issued an arrest warrant out for Donald Trump and 30 US officials in June in connection with General Soleimani’s death on charges of murder and terrorism.
General Soleimani was the prime mover of the growing military presence in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. He was the leader of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Quds force (IRGQ). IRGQ is an elite unit that handles Iran’s overseas operations. Abu Mahdi, al-Muhandis was the Iraqi deputy head of Iran backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). The PMF, recognized under 2016 Iraqi Law, is an Independent military force in Iraq having close ties to Iran. The force is answerable directly to the Prime Minister of Iraq.
The impugned air-strike was called after Donald Trump had blamed Iran for the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad. Post the air-strike, Donald Trump had celebrated the two killings as “taking out two at the price of one”. Trump referred to General Soleimani as a noted terrorist but did not describe him as an imminent threat. However, US officials had justified the attack by describing General Soleimani as an imminent threat.
The UN special reporter, Agnez Callamard, described the two killings as ‘arbitrary’ and ‘illegal’. Iranian lawmaker Ahmad Hamzeh had also declared a $3 million cash bounty on Donald Trump’s head.
The Iraqi court said that the preliminary investigations in the case have been concluded basis of which the arrest warrant has been issued. Further, the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq also stated that the investigation will continue to trace the other culprits in the attack whether. While it is unlikely that the warrant shall be carried out, the timing of the warrant in the last days of Trump’s presidency is symbolic.