The Iraqi Supreme Court has issued an arrest warrant to former US President Donald Trump concerning the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force on Iraqi soil. This is according to a report from Baghdad news agency sourced by IraqiNews.
In a January 2020 drone strike near the Baghdad airport, two people lost their lives – Soleimani and the deputy chairman of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). On Thursday, a warrant was issued in relation to their deaths. The retaliatory Iranian strikes against the US base at Aia Al-Assad in Iraq were a consequence of the targeted killing mission. The warrant for Trump’s arrest has been issued, claiming he plotted to take someone’s life. In cases like this, the death penalty is imposed regardless of whether or not the warrant carries any real significance.
As the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zaidban implored Baghdad to hold former President Trump responsible for this atrocious crime, as reported by IraqiNews after citing news agency Baghdad Today. Incredibly, the speaker of Iraq’s parliament recently revealed that Iranian-backed forces had abducted and slain hundreds – if not thousands – of people between 2014 and 2016.
Iraq, the second-highest oil producer in OPEC behind only Saudi Arabia, is stuck between two competing forces: Iran and the United States. Since 2003, when the U.S. invasion resulted in Saddam Hussein’s removal from power, Iran has gained massive clout within Iraq. Last October, the Iraqi parliament appointed a pro-Iranian prime minister to lead the nation, thus allowing Iranian-leaning political factions to take control. Significant parties have deliberately excluded Moqtada al Sadr, a Shi’ite contender who has been obstructing government operations by protesting Iranian activities. After Trump issued a military order, the leader of PMF–an umbrella organization that combined Iraq’s pro-Iranian militias and was officially backed by their government–was assassinated.
Only time will tell if this warrant serves to generate anything more than a symbolic purpose.