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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 3 March 2021

Iraqi court issues arrest warrant for Trump over killing of Al Muhandis

Al Muhandis was killed alongside Iranian General Qassem Suleimani on January 3 last year

A supporter of Iran-backed militias holds the picture of Qasem Suleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis during a demonstration on the first anniversary of a US drone attack that killed both of them on January 3, 2021. EPA
A supporter of Iran-backed militias holds the picture of Qasem Suleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis during a demonstration on the first anniversary of a US drone attack that killed both of them on January 3, 2021. EPA

A Baghdad court has issued an arrest warrant against outgoing US President Donald Trump for last year’s killing of Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis.

On Thursday, Iraq's Judiciary Council said the arrest warrant came after concluding an initial investigation.

The investigation will continue to identify other "accomplices in the crimes whether Iraqis or foreigners", it said.

The statement did not give details on how the Iraqi authorities will effect the arrest warrant.

Al Muhandis and Iranian general Qassem Suleimani were killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad's international airport on January 3, 2020.

The US accused Suleimani of organising attacks by Iranian-sponsored militias on American forces across the Middle East.

Suleimani headed the foreign operations arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, known as Al Quds Force, which is designated a foreign terrorist organisation by the US. Al Muhandis was the deputy head of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (known in Arabic as Al Hashed Al Shabi).

The duo had worked closely together.

Iran also issued an arrest warrant last year for Trump over the killing of Suleimani. The US dismissed the move at the time as a “joke".

Last week, a top adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi was threatened by Iran-sponsored militias over comments he made about Suleimani.

"Suleimani didn't think he just served as a co-coordinator with Iraq," Hisham Dawod told the BBC. "He actually believed himself responsible for Iraq. That is why he entered and left [the country] when he wanted."

The drone attack pushed Tehran and Washington perilously close to all-out conflict and sparked outrage among pro-Iran militias and political blocs. The Iraqi parliament also passed a non-binding resolution days later calling for the expulsion of all foreign troops from the country.

Earlier this week, US Special Envoy for Syria Joel D. Rayburn told The National that the absence of Suleimani has been a “big setback” for Iran.

Mr Rayburn said he is positive that there will be no tolerance anymore for the Revolutionary Guards and its overseas arm, Al Quds force to “wreak havoc in the region” or use its missiles against Syria’s regional neighbours.

Updated: January 7, 2021 05:57 PM

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