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The UN has found that the US killing of Qassem Soleimani broke international law. It’s right, but nothing will happen as a result

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On paper, it sounds very copesetic: “... a single strike, one or two cars targeted, 10 individuals killed, in a non-belligerent country, surrounded by people unaware of and unprepared for an international armed conflict.”

With these words, Agnes Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, described the assassination of Qassem Soleimani in a report submitted to the Human Rights Council.

Callamard’s report covered the broad topic of ‘Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions’, and focused in particular on the use of armed drones for targeted killing. She observed that such acts are carried out by conventional means, such as Special Operations Forces, and as such her report “contains findings applicable to all forms of targeted killings, no matter their method.”

In her report, Callamard singled out the assassination (i.e., “targeted killing”) of General Soleimani as “the first known incident in which a State [e.g., the US] invoked self-defense as a justification for an attack against a State-actor, in the territory of another state, thus implicating the prohibition on the use of force in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.” It declares that “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Callamard labeled the killing of Soleimani by a US drone strike an “arbitrary killing,” noting that while the US claimed that the strike was in response to an “escalating series of armed attacks in recent months” by Iran, the US claim “fails to describe even one ongoing attack.”

Instead, Callamard describes a series of separate and........

© RT.com