Iraq issues warrant to arrest Donald Trump for 'premeditated murder'

Iraq issues warrant to arrest Donald Trump for ‘premeditated murder’ over the airstrike which saw its paramilitary chief killed alongside Iran’s General Soleimani

  • A Baghdad court has issued a warrant for arrest of US President Donald Trump 
  • Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis died in the same US drone strike that killed Soleimani
  •  Court for east Baghdad issued the warrant under Article 406 of the penal code

An arrest warrant has been issued for outgoing President Donald Trump in connection with the killing of an Iranian general and a powerful Iraqi militia leader last year, Iraq’s judiciary said.

The warrant was issued on Thursday by a judge in Baghdad’s investigative court tasked with probing the Washington-directed drone strike that killed Gen. Qassim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the court’s media office said. 

They were killed outside the capital’s airport last January.

Al-Muhandis was the deputy leader of the state-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group composed of an array of militias, including Iran-backed groups, formed to fight the Islamic State group.

Iraq’s judiciary has issued an arrest warrant for outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump in connection with the killing of an Iranian general and a powerful Iraqi militia leader last year

People attend the first anniversary of the killing of senior Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a U.S. attack, in Baghdad, Iraq, January 2

Worshippers chant slogans during Friday prayers ceremony, as a banner show Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, left, and Iraqi Shiite senior militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in Iraq in a U.S. drone attack on January 3, 2020 (File image) 

Soleimani headed the expeditionary Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The arrest warrant was for a charge of premeditated murder, which carries the death penalty on conviction. It is unlikely to be carried out but symbolic in the waning days of Trump’s presidency.

The decision to issue the warrant ‘was made after the judge recorded the statements of the claimants from the family of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis,’ according to a statement from the Supreme Judicial Council. 

Trump talks to reporters while hosting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi (not pictured) and Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien in the Oval Office at the White House August 20, 2020

The investigation into the killings is ongoing, the court said.

The killings sparked a diplomatic crisis and strained U.S.-Iraq ties, drawing the ire of Shiite political lawmakers who passed a non-binding resolution to pressure the government to oust foreign troops from the country.

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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