Iraq issued an arrest warrant for Donald Trump a year after the outgoing US president ordered a drone attack that killed a colonel general.
If convicted, the fired US commander in chief could face the death penalty – though there’s little chance he’ll ever appear in court.
Trump brought the Middle East to the brink of war when he launched the strike that claimed the lives of Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis alongside Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
He is being charged with premeditated murder by an Iraqi court – the same charges Iranian officials announced last June.
A court in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, issued an arrest warrant for Trump under Article 406 of the country’s criminal code.
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The court said a preliminary investigation has been carried out while “the investigation continues to unmask the other culprits in this crime, be they Iraqis or foreigners.”
The Iraqi Supreme Court said the decision to issue the warrant was “taken after the judge recorded the statements of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis applicants”.
Iraq al-Muhandis was the deputy head of the state-sanctioned paramilitary network Hashed al-Shaabi, which has close ties with Iran.
After the air strike near Baghdad airport on January 3 last year, Trump boasted of killing “two for the price of one.”
On January 8, Iran launched a retaliatory strike on Al-Assad airbase and a US-operated base in Irbil, injuring 34 US troops.
The Iranian leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said at the time: “For the time being, the Americans got a slap in the face, revenge is another topic.”
He added: “Military steps like this are not enough. The corrupt American presence should come to an end.”
UN officials have classified the strike on a motorcade in Iraq as “illegal”.
The latest development follows official confirmation that Trump’s presidency will end on January 20, despite disgruntled supporters storming the US Capitol fueled by his lies about election fraud.
Trump, who has been banned from his Twitter account, said in a statement released today by the White House: “Although I disagree with the election result at all and the facts confirm me, there will still be an orderly transition on January 20th.
“I’ve always said we would continue our fight to make sure that only legal votes are counted.
“While this marks the end of the greatest first term in the history of the president, it is only the beginning of our struggle to make America great again!”