The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Agnes Callamard also called Soleimani’s death an "arbitrary execution" given that Washington has not yet provided evidence to justify the Iranian general was planning attacks against the U.S.
"The attack is a violation of the United Nations Charter, and an arbitrary assassination for which the United States is responsible under international law.”
Pompeo rejected Callamard’s conclusions and called them false, justifying the attack on Soleimani as a self-defense response to the threat Iran was posing to the U.S in the region.
To justify extraterritorial drones use of force, some States have reinterpreted the law of self-defence by distorting the notion of “imminent” attacks and the principle of State sovereignty. Low-intensity conflicts are drawn-out with few if any geographical or temporal boundaries
According to the Secretary of State, the drone strike that ended Soleimani’s life came as a preventive measure after “the escalation of armed attacks against U.S. forces and interests in the Middle East, conducted by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the militias it supports.”
Nevertheless, Callamard warned about the danger posed by the fact that, under the premise of self-defense, anybody could constitute a legitimate target for the U.S.
“The international community must now confront the very real prospect that States may opt to 'strategically' eliminate high ranking military officials outside the context of a 'known' war, and seek to justify the killing on the grounds of the target’s classification as a 'terrorist' who posed a potential future threat.”
General Soleimaní was killed in an airstrike on January 3 by President Donald Trump’s orders. In response, Iran launched missile attacks against two bases used by the U.S. military in Iraq leaving over a hundred injured.