The U.S. drone strike that killed Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani was “unlawful”, a United Nations expert concluded in a report released on Tuesday.

Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, concluded it was an “arbitrary killing” that violated the UN charter. The U.S. had provided no evidence that an imminent attack against U.S. interest was being planned, she wrote.

The independent rights expert does not speak for the United Nations but reports her findings to it. Her report on targeted killings through armed drones — around half of which deals with the Soleimani case — is to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva on Thursday.

The U.S. withdrew from the council in 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Soleimani in a January 3 drone strike.

Soleimani, a national hero at home, was “the world’s top terrorist” and “should have been terminated long ago”, Mr. Trump said at the time.

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