Assassination of General Soleimani and International Law: Report of an Expert Panel Discussion

Document Type : Original Article



In the early hours of 3 January 2020, the United States military carried out a drone attack to assassinate General Ghassem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guard Corps-Quds Force, and his entourage at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. The attack, which was ordered by US President Donald Trump, also killed nine others, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, de facto leader of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces and founder of the Kata’ib Hezbollah militia.Unsurprisingly, the assassination of General Soleimani soon turned into a hotly-debated issue on a global scale. The crux of the debate among politicians, international law experts and international relations analysts revolved around whether the US drone strike was permissible according to the relevant rules of international law.