NEW YORK: A U.S. drone strike that killed Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, at Baghdad International Airport in January is a violation under international law, according to U.N. report Thursday.
Investigator Agnes Callamard said more than 100 nations have an active military drone inventory and about a dozen allegedly have deployed armed drones for the use of force, such as targeted killings.
The uncontrolled proliferation of armed drones poses a threat to international peace, she added, and the U.S. killing of Soleimani has elevated the dangers. She noted the U.S. carried out its attack without first obtaining Iraq’s consent, thereby violating Iraq’s territorial integrity.
“That is a significant and troubling new development,” Callamard said. “It is the first known incident in which a state invokes self-defense as justification for an attack against a government official outside a declared armed conflict.
“No evidence has been provided that General 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.”