The Iraq judiciary issued an arrest warrant for US President Donald Trump on Thursday for the premeditated killing of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis last January. Trump is charged under Article 406 of the Iraqi Penal Code, which carries the death sentence in all cases of premeditated murder.
Al-Muhandis died in the drone strike Trump ordered to kill Iranian major general Qassem Soleimani. Al-Muhandis was the deputy leader of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, a state-sanctioned umbrella organization that oversees an array of militias formed to fight the Islamic State.
The killing of al-Muhandis and Soleimani strained US-Iraqi relations. Shiite lawmakers passed a non-binding resolution to pressure the government into ousting foreign troops from the country. Further, groups supported by Iran have stepped up attacks against the Americans stationed in Iraq. The attacks prompted Washington to threaten to remove its diplomatic mission in Baghdad.
Iraq’s warrant is not the first warrant issued for Trump’s arrest over the matter. In June Iran issued a warrant and asked Interpol to relay it as a “red notice,” an international wanted persons notice, to other national police forces. Interpol has not yet done so, and an arrest is unlikely.