A Baghdad judge released the warrant, as the court is looking into the drone strike that killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, CBS News reports. They died in a drone strike outside the capital’s airport last January. Al-Muhandis was the deputy head of Iraq’s state-sanctioned and pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces, which encompassed a number of militias. Soleimani led the Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The Baghdad court’s arrest warrant is for premeditated murder, which, if convicted, means Trump could face the death penalty. However, it isn’t likely that the warrant will be carried out, as it is more symbolic of Trump's last days in the presidency.
“An arrest warrant against the outgoing President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, has been issued in accordance with the provisions of Article 406 of the Iraqi Penal Code,” Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council said in a statement on Thursday.
The choice to issue the warrant “was made after the judge recorded the statements of the claimants from the family of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis,” with the court saying that the investigations would continue “to identify others who participated in committing this crime, whether they are Iraqis or foreigners.”
The drone strike and subsequent deaths triggered major tension between the U.S. and Iraq. Iran-backed groups have escalated attacks against American troops in Iraq, prompting Washington to threaten to shut down its Baghdad diplomatic mission.